Murdoch and Kant

In Mark Hopwood & Silvia Panizza (eds.), The Murdochian Mind. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 253-265 (2022)
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It has been insufficiently remarked that Murdoch deems “Kant’s ethical theory” to be “one of the most beautiful and exciting things in the whole of philosophy” in her 1959 essay “The Sublime and the Good”. Murdoch specifically has in mind the connection between Kant’s ethics and his theory of the sublime, which runs via the moral feeling of respect (Achtung). The chapter examines Murdoch’s interest in Kant on this point as a way to tease out the range of issues that complicate Kant’s significance for the development of Murdoch’s distinctive conception of ethics as it is articulated in _The Sovereignty of Good_ and earlier essays. It focuses on her particular concerns about the moral dangers of consolation, and why this led her to propose reworking the Kantian theory of the sublime as a theory of art, and specifically of tragedy.

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Melissa M Merritt
University of New South Wales


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