Murdoch the Explorer


One of Iris Murdoch’s most characteristic philosophical ideas is that any way of understanding what moral philosophy is and how it may be practised will be shaped by deep-going conceptual attitudes, of which moral philosophers themselves may be unaware. In her own philosophical writings she tried to bring out the role played by these attitudes, and to unsettle accepted ideas about the subject. I examine some of the elements in her thought which open up different ways of understanding the subject, and I discuss the relevance of these ideas to contemporary moral philosophy.