Picturing the Human: The Moral Thought of Iris Murdoch

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9780195131710: Picturing the Human: The Moral Thought of Iris Murdoch
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Iris Murdoch has long been known as one of the most deeply insightful and morally passionate novelists of our time. This attention has often eclipsed Murdoch's sophisticated and influential work as a philosopher, which has had a wide-ranging impact on thinkers in moral philosophy as well as religious ethics and political theory. Yet it has never been the subject of a book-length study in its own right.

Picturing the Human seeks to fill this gap. In this groundbreaking book, author Maria Antonaccio presents the first systematic and comprehensive treatment of Murdoch's moral philosophy. Unlike literary critical studies of her novels, it offers a general philosophical framework for assessing Murdoch's thought as a whole. Antonaccio also suggests a new interpretive method for reading Murdoch's philosophy and outlines the significance of her thought in the context of current debates in ethics. This vital study will appeal to those interested in moral philosophy, religious ethics, and literary criticism, and grants those who have long loved Murdoch's novels a closer look at her remarkable philosophy.

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Maria Antonaccio is assistant professor of religion at Bucknell University.

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Antonaccio (religion, Bucknell Univ.) here offers a systematic framework for assessing Iris Murdoch's remarkable philosophy. In her serious attempt to assemble Murdoch's metaphysics, Antonaccio lays out a careful study ranging from ontological, moral, and political tenets to linguistic, religious, and artistic realities. She provides a fascinating contrast between Murdoch and Sartre and carefully excavates the center from which Murdoch manages to assign "value," "fact," and, eventually, "Platonic Good" in a slippery Aristotelian world. Antonaccio oscillates among Kant, Hegel, and poststructuralism, often pairing Kant with Plato. What emerges is the depth and insight of Murdoch's moral imagination. Highly recommended for those interested in ontological arguments, moral philosophy, religious ethics, John Bayley's memoirs, or Murdoch's writings.DScott Hightower, Fordham Univ., New York
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