‘It’s like brown, it’s not in the spectrum’: The Problem of Justice in Iris Murdoch’s Thought

  • Frances White
Part of the Philosophers in Depth book series (PID)


This paper maps the concept of justice in Iris Murdoch’s thought with the dual aim of resolving critical dispute between Nussbaum and Antonaccio, and of exploring Murdoch’s gnomic statement that justice is ‘not in the moral spectrum’. Rooted in Murdoch’s annotations of works concerning justice by Plato, Kant, Schopenhauer, Weil and Foot (held in the Archive at Kingston University) which reveal their influence upon her developing thought, it analyses her presentation of this problematical concept in both her philosophy and fiction, with particular reference to Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, The Nice and the Good, A Word Child, Nuns and Soldiers, and The Green Knight. It concludes by corroborating Antonaccio’s claim that Murdoch’s work is strongly concerned with justice, though her aphorism remains unfathomable.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frances White
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of ChichesterSussexUK

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