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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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Iris Murdoch and the Prospects for Critical Moral Perception

Iris Murdoch and the Prospects for Critical Moral Perception

(p.226) (p.227) 6 Iris Murdoch and the Prospects for Critical Moral Perception*
Iris Murdoch, Philosopher

Bridget Clarke

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Irish, Murdoch, moral perception, virtue ethics, attention, uncritical conservatism

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