Iris Murdoch was a philosopher and novelist of extraordinary breadth and originality whose work defies simple categorisation. Her philosophical writing engages with an astonishingly wide range of figures, from Plato and Kant to Sartre and Heidegger, and her work increasingly inspires debate in ethics, aesthetics, religion, and literature.
The Murdochian Mind is an outstanding reference source to the full span of Murdoch's philosophical work, comprising 37 specially commissioned chapters written by an international team of leading scholars. Divided into five clear parts, the volume covers the following areas:
- A guide to Murdoch's key philosophical texts, including The Sovereignty of Good and Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals.
- Core themes and concepts in Murdoch's philosophy, such as love, moral vision, and attention.
- Murdoch's engagement with the history of philosophy, including Plato, Kant, Hegel, Simone Weil, and Wittgenstein.
- Interdisciplinary connections with art, literature, and religion, including Judaism, Buddhism, and Christianity.
- Murdoch and contemporary philosophical debates, including feminism, virtue ethics, and metaethics.
- The application of Murdoch’s thought to applied ethics, including animal ethics, psychiatric ethics, and the environment.
Although recent years have seen a blossoming of interest in Murdoch’s philosophy, The Murdochian Mind is the first volume to do justice to the incredibly rich and wide-ranging nature of her work. As such it will be of great interest to students of philosophy, especially ethics and aesthetics, as well as those in related disciplines such as literature, religion, and gender studies.
Table of Contents
Introduction Silvia Caprioglio Panizza and Mark Hopwood
Part 1: Reading Murdoch
1. The Importance of Murdoch`s early encounters with Marcel and Anscombe Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachael Wiseman
2. How to read The Sovereignty of Good Justin Broackes
3. How to read The Fire and the Sun David Robjant
4. How to read Acastos: Murdoch’s Platonic dialogues Hannah Marije Altorf
5. How to read Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals Mark Hopwood
6. How Iris Murdoch can change your life Frances White
7. Murdoch and me: A personal reflection Stanley Hauerwas
Part 2: Core themes and concepts
8. Thinking, language, and concepts Niklas Forsberg
9. Inwardness in ethics Sophie Grace Chappell
10. Moral vision Anil Gomes
11. Attention Silvia Caprioglio Panizza
12. Love Christopher Cordner
13. Virtue Maria Silvia Vaccarezza
14. The good Craig Taylor
15. The ontological argument Nora Hämäläinen
16. Care for the ordinary Sandra Laugier
Part 3: Critical encounters
17. Murdoch and Plato Catherine Rowett
18. Murdoch and Kant Melissa Merritt
19. Murdoch and Hegel Gary Browning
20. Murdoch and Heidegger Michelle Mahoney
21. Murdoch and Sartre Alison Scott-Baumann
22. Murdoch and Weil Eva-Maria Düringer
23. Murdoch and Wittgenstein Anne-Marie Søndergaard Christensen
24. Murdoch and K.E. Løgstrup Robert Stern
Part 4: Art, Religion, and Politics
25. Art, beauty, and morality Chiara Brozzo and Andy Hamilton
26. Is Murdoch a philosophical novelist? Miles Leeson
27. Writing morally Rowan Williams
28. Murdoch and Christianity Elizabeth Burns
29. Murdoch and Buddhism Christopher W. Gowans
30. Murdoch and Jewish thought Victor Jeleniewski Seidler
31. Murdoch and politics Lawrence Blum
32. Murdoch and feminism Lucy Bolton
Part 5: Contemporary moral issues
33. Nature and the environment Lucy Oulton
34. Loving attention to animals Tony Milligan
35. Psychiatric ethics Anna Bergqvist
36. Moral injury Joseph Wiinikka-Lydon
37. Civility Megan Jane Laverty.
Silvia Caprioglio Panizza is Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Centre for Ethics, University of Pardubice, and a fellow of the PEriTiA project (Policy, Expertise, and Trust in Action) at the Centre for Ethics in Public Life, University College Dublin. She has edited and translated Simone Weil’s Venice Saved with Philip Wilson (2019) and is the author of The Ethics of Attention: Engaging the Real with Iris Murdoch and Simone Weil (2022).
Mark Hopwood is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at The University of the South, Sewanee, USA. He has published articles on a range of topics in moral philosophy, including love, narcissism, hypocrisy, and the nature of moral judgment, and is currently writing a book on Iris Murdoch’s ethics.