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Reading Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals: An Introduction

  • Nora Hämäläinen
  • Gillian Dooley
Chapter

Abstract

Iris Murdoch’s late major work Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals is rich in unusual philosophical insight, but frequently found difficult, not least because its form and perspectives defy the expectations of her readers. In this introduction we review some central aspects of the book: the nature of Murdoch’s philosophical ambitions, her attempts at rethinking faith and spirituality in a secular world, her work on the metaphysical underpinnings of our thinking, the roles of art in all of this, and her historical sensibility, which up to recently has largely been overlooked by commentators. We also look at the textual features of the book which make it particularly challenging but also gratifying for the reader who has discovered its distinctive charms.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nora Hämäläinen
    • 1
  • Gillian Dooley
    • 2
  1. 1.University of PardubicePardubiceCzech Republic
  2. 2.Flinders UniversityAdelaideAustralia

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