Iris Murdoch: Moral Vision

In Mark Hopwood & Silvia Panizza (eds.), The Murdochian Mind. Routledge (forthcoming)
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In the essays which make up The Sovereignty of Good, Iris Murdoch gives us a picture of moral life in which ‘the metaphor of vision [is] almost irresistibly suggested’. This chapter aims to clarify the role played by the metaphor of vision in Murdoch’s philosophical thinking. I’ll examine two different things which might be meant by the term ‘moral vision’: vision of moral things or vision which is itself moral. The suggestion will be that whilst both capture something important about Murdoch’s work, each may mislead about what is distinctive in her views. For Murdoch, I shall suggest, there is no distinctively moral vision. There is only vision: a loving gaze directed upon the reality of others.

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Anil Gomes
Oxford University


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