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Iris Murdoch, Philosopher$
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Justin Broackes

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199289905

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289905.001.0001

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‘For every Foot its own Shoe’: Method and Moral Theory in the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch

‘For every Foot its own Shoe’: Method and Moral Theory in the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch

Chapter:
(p.292) (p.293) 9 ‘For every Foot its own Shoe’: Method and Moral Theory in the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch*
Source:
Iris Murdoch, Philosopher
Author(s):

Julia Driver

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289905.003.0012

This chapter explores Murdoch’s views attacking principle based ethics and argues that, while her concerns point to genuine problems for some principle based approaches, particularism is the wrong lesson to take away from these concerns. When Murdoch rejects theory, she is really rejecting a kind of methodology that approaches ethical issues and problems in an antiseptic and streamlined way. For her, the antidote to this form of theorizing was ‘experience.’ However, ‘experience’ doesn’t require actually living through moral problems oneself. Rather, it simply requires the agent to carefully reflect on a variety of moral issues, but consider those moral issues in a full, rich, context rather than via stripped down implausible scenarios.

Keywords:   Iris Murdoch, particularism, moral theory, moral experience, impartiality

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