Vanessa Dodd 'Iris Murdoch : A Very British Philosopher?'

NEXT MEETING ON-LINE VIA ZOOM at 7:30pm on 16th February 2021

Novelist, essayist and moral philosopher, Iris Murdoch is often remembered for her decline into Alzheimer's depicted in the 2001 film Iris.  In this talk I hope to recover some of her standing as a moral philosopher and philosopher of art by exploring the key philosophies which dominate her thinking including Platonism, on which she builds her moral philosophy, and Existentialism, which she rejects as a worldview, damning it 'an unfit philosophy for the 20th century', despite her being instrumental in bringing it to Britain. I will argue that Murdoch, who taught philosophy at Oxford, was a 'very British philosopher', who forged a middle way between the British Empiricist tradition and the story-rich Continental philosophy, with  special reference to her award winning novel The Sea, the Sea (1978) which platforms her philosophical ideas in story form.

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