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Iris Murdoch's Contemporary Retrieval of Plato

This book analyzes the work of Iris Murdoch as a thinker concerned with conceptions of human good in contemporary Western cultures. Until now, Murdoch's contributions to literature and the relationship between her philosophical work and her novels have received little comprehensive examination. The book presents Iris Murdoch's thought in a somewhat systematic way, building gradually towards a more complete picture of her work. The first area concerns Art and Philosophy and demonstrates that her literary work is largely an imaginative expression of her philosophy. Murdoch has a dominant preoccupation with ethics. She introduces the question of the relation of the self and the Good, especially as seen through the eyes of Platonic ethics, while insisting with liberals and existentialists on the moral importance of the individual person. Another area of concern is Philosophy and Metaphysics. This addresses the relation between metaphysics and ethics in Murdoch's thought. This is essential area of concern in order to understand her moral realism. She appeals to a metaphysical notion of ethics in order to ground moral claims with respect to a normative conception of the 'real'. The final area concerns Philosophy and Religion. This presents her engagement with the importance of art for philosophy, a concern which is not separable from the importance of religion for both art and philosophy. This, of course, is done in conversation with Murdoch's attitude towards art and religion.
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"This book will contribute to Murdoch studies, offering us an engaging image of both the intensity and range of Murdoch's art and thought." - Prof. William Desmond Catholic University of Leuven "... original and very thorough research into the writings of Iris Murdoch..." - Dr. Patrick Quinn All Hallows College, Dublin"

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