of social justice to control necessity andrnchance, in the sense both of mitigatingrntheir effects on the individual and ofrnshowing that what cannot be mitigatedrnis not unjust.” The difference betweenrnancient and modern attitudes turns outrnto hinge on Kant and to culminate inrnJohn Rawls, philosophers who have arguedrnfor the separation of moral judgmentrnfrom social context and historicalrncontingency. Williams himself has employedrnarguments from the ancientrnworld to make good objections to Kantrnand American neo-Kantianism. His earlierrnwritings, including his classic essayrnon “Moral Luck,” showed that he understoodrnthe limitations and errors of Kant’srnattempt to escape from the morality ofrn”my station and its duties” into onernwhere the individual transcends any socialrnrole, and universal human rights takernprecedence over the traditional and thernlocal. Shame andNecessity traces this abstractingrnvision back to Descartes (correctly)rnand even to Plato and Aristotlern(less persuasively). Nietzsche, he says,rn”set the problem” of his inquiry. Whenrnpush comes to shove, though, Williamsrncannot bear to relinquish the influencernof the Enlightenment.rnHe has difficulty dealing with thernbizarre view, held by the ancient Greeksrnand explained by Aristotle, that men andrnwomen are different. For one thing,rn”modern prejudice is to a much vasterrnextent [than with slavery] the same asrnancient.” It turns out that this Greek beliefrnis not alien to us, being indeed quiternmodern. “The idea that gender roles arernimposed by nature is alive in ‘modern,’rnscientistic forms. In particular, the morerncrassly unreflective contributions of sociobiologyrnto this subject represent littlernmore than continuations of Aristotelianrnanthropology bv other means.” We arernsupposed to be shocked. E. O. Wilsonrnand Thomas Fleming assert quiternbrazenly that their work is in the traditionrnof Aristotle. Williams gives no notesrnto this section and spends his time denouncingrn”the assumption that naturernhas something to tell us, in fairly unambiguousrnterms, about what social rolesrnshould be and how they should be distributed.”rnAristotle, Wilson, and Flemingrnobserve how roles are distributed andrnthen present theories that would “savernthe phenomena.” Sexual role separationrnand male political dominance are, afterrnall, cultural universals. They are found inrnevery nonmythical society, including ourrnown. When Williams denounces, withoutrnargument or even specific example,rnattempts to understand these phenomena,rnhe reveals the limitations of abstractrnphilosophizing when it is cut off fromrnphilological and historical research.rnWilliams assures us that the ancientrnGreeks did not believe that the distributionrnof social roles reflected nature. Indeed,rn”in its most complete and comfortingrnform it was almost an Aristotelianrnspecialty.” On one page, he attacks Aristotlernfor his culturally biased defenses ofrnthe common beliefs of his society. Onrnthe next, he calls his views a personal idiosyncrasy.rnHe does not seriously discussrnGreeks who did question traditional sexrnroles, like Aristophanes (for a lark) andrnPlato, in the Fifth Book of the Republic.rn(Just as you cannot use your handsrnin soccer, Williams is forbidden to usernPlato, even when he desperately needsrnhim.) Euripides’ Medea complainsrnabout the sexual double standard, butrnshe explicitly reaffirms the natural differencesrnbetween men and women. Her famousrncry that she would rather fightrnthree battles than give birth once is notrnan offer to volunteer, but an assessmentrnof relative pain and fear.rnWilliams’ treatment of slavery isrnespecially jejune, being heavilyrndependent on one book by M. I, Finley,rnAncient Slavery and Modern Ideologyrn(1980). It is a poor choice. These livelyrnand thought-provoking essays “do notrnconstitute a history of ancient slavery,” inrnFinley’s own words, and are often devotedrnto polemics against other classicists,rnnot analysis of facts. Even so, Williamsrncannot get his one source straight, arguingrnthat “Greek and Roman slavery was,rnas Moses Finley stressed, a novel invention.”rnOn the contrary, Finley agreedrnwith Fustel de Coulanges that slavery is arncultural universal, “a primordial fact,rncontemporary with the origin of society.”rnFinley does say that “the Greeks and Romansrntransformed this ‘primordial fact’rninto something new and wholly originalrnin world history,” just as they transformedrnepic poetry, drama, and historyrnitself. This initial mistake leads the haplessrnWilliams into one blunder after another.rnHe thinks Aristotle’s discussion ofrnslavery as “natural” (in opposition tornthose who call it a social constructionrnbased on “violence”) is a culturally biasedrndefense of a unique Greek institution,rninstead of an explanation of a culturalrnuniversal. Williams contrasts thernconcepts of “natural” and “forced” inrnAristotle’s Physics to show that he wasrnconfused by cultural bias in his socialrnthought, forgetting that Aristotle disagreedrnwith the idea that slavery had nornbasis but violence.rnWilliams is angered by Aristotle’s observationrnthat slaves and free people differrnas a rule, somatically and intellectually,rn”but the opposite often happens, andrnsome people have the bodies of free menrnand others the souls.” “The last sentencernis a disaster,” Williams crows.rnAristotle distinguishes between aspectsrnof the world that are true “always” (aei)rnand aspects that are true “for the mostrnpart” {epi to poly). His theory admits of,rnand expects, exceptions. Our sciencerndistinguishes between correlations thatrnare statistically significant and those thatrnare not. Does Williams think that onlyrncorrelations of 100 percent are statisticallyrnsignificant? The statistically significantrncorrelation of intelligence to socialrnstatus in the United States and GreatrnBritain is in no way refuted by the existencernof intelligent poor people and sillyrnrich people.rnPage after page is consumed by thernsort of liberal self-righteousness whichrndisgusted Friedrich Engels, Karl Marx’srnbest friend. In his Anti-Duhring, Engelsrnwrote, “It is very easy to inveigh againstrnslavery and similar things in generalrnterms, and to give vent to high moralrnindignation at such infamies. Unfortunatelyrnall that this conveys is whatrneveryone knows, namely, that these institutionsrnof antiquity are no longer in accordrnwith our present conditions and ourrnsentiments, which these conditions determine.rn. . . We should never forget thatrnour whole economic, political and intellectualrndevelopment presupposes a staternof things in which slavery was as necessaryrnas it was universally recognized.”rnWilliams knows that among the ancientsrn”slavery, in most people’s eyes, was notrnjust, but necessary. Because it was necessary,rnit was not, as an institution, seen asrnunjust either.” What he finds objectionablernis “Aristotle’s attempt to justify therninstitution.” In Politics I Aristotle saysrnthat, until the day comes when machinesrncan replace human labor, slavery will bernnecessary for human society. He objectsrnto those who call slavery “contrary to naturernand unjust,” arguing that it is notrnrational to use such terms about a universalrnand necessary social institution.rnWilliams’ contrast between “not unjust”rnand “just” is an unworthy linguistic quibble.rnIn Greek idiom, litotes (“not un-rnAPRIL 1996/27rnrnrn