Iris Murdoch and the Prospects for Critical Moral Perception

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Murdoch famously recast Plato's ethics to provide a contemporary version of a virtue-centered ethics. This type of ethical theory is sometimes held to be complicit with an attitude of uncritical social and political conservatism in view of the fact that it does not provide the virtuous agent with an external standard by which to criticize the norms of his society. This chapter considers Murdoch's ethics in the light of this criticism and argues that while Murdoch does not furnish the virtuous agent with a point of view external to the norms of his society, she nevertheless does equip the agent with considerable resources for criticizing the status quo.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIris Murdoch, Philosopher
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780191728471
ISBN (Print)9780199289905
StatePublished - Sep 20 2012


  • Attention
  • Irish
  • Moral perception
  • Murdoch
  • Uncritical conservatism
  • Virtue ethics


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