Murdoch’s Question of the Work of Art: The Dialogue Between Western and Japanese Conceptions of Unity (MGM Chapters 1 and 8)

  • Fiona Tomkinson


I examine Murdoch’s discussion of the unity of the artwork in Chapter 1 of MGM and the continuation of this theme in her discussion of Japanese aesthetics in Chapter 8. I argue that making explicit the inter-relationship between these chapters shows more clearly the path of hermeneutic circularity she employs in countering philosophical trends hostile to artistic unity. I discuss the ‘fictional genesis’ of MGM in The Book and the Brotherhood in order to place in context the forces which she is attempting to resist and the final vision to which she aspires. I conclude that Murdoch’s revisiting of Plato’s theory of the Forms and Anselm’s ontological proof can only be completely understood through linking it with her engagement with Sekida’s concept of pure cognition.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fiona Tomkinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Nagoya UniversityNagoyaJapan

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