By Anne Rowe
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Additional info for Iris Murdoch: A Re-Assessment
2. ) Justin Braockes (Oxford University Press (UK), 2006). 3. : Harvard University Press, 1985). 4. ) Maria Antonaccio and William Schweiker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996), p. 5 – hereafter IM. 5. See: EM, pp. 76–98. 6. EM, pp. 80–1. 7. : Harvard University Press, 1990). 8. 2 (Summer 2000), p. 298. 9. The Sovereignty of Good (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1970), pp. 32–3 – hereafter SG. 10. ) Maria Antonaccio and William Schweiker (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1996) – hereafter SHG.
All of these essays suggest that, no matter how readily one may think Murdoch’s ethics can be captured in arresting phrases about ‘the fat relentless ego’, her depiction of the inner life and the process of unselfing contains tensions and perplexities that continue to merit serious reflection. Religion and the absolute demand of morality Murdoch’s interest in religion is a corollary of her retrieval of the inner life and has always been a distinctive feature of her philosophy. Not only did it represent a direct challenge to her analytic colleagues, many Maria Antonaccio 19 of whom regarded religion as simply another instance of bogus metaphysics; it also sets her apart from many modern critics of theism.
1 Murdoch’s approach to the ontological argument immediately distinguishes itself from that of the mainstream of analytical philosophers by putting in question the received view that Kant’s hugely famous critique of that argument is wholly successful. The ontological argument is originally presented by Anselm as a response to the Fool of the fourteenth Psalm, who says in his heart that there is no God. Anselm points out that the very idea of God that the Fool’s atheistic assertion purports to deploy, the idea of God that is central to the Christian tradition, is that of a being than which nothing greater can be conceived.