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Title: Iris Murdoch: la relazione tra l’interiorità e il comportamento pubblico è la moralità
Authors: Monteleone, Ester
Keywords: Iris MurdochPlatoGoodConsciousnessReligionObligationDutyVirtue
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Ester Monteleone, "Iris Murdoch: la relazione tra l’interiorità e il comportamento pubblico è la moralità", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XVI (2014) 2, pp. 1153-1166
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XVI (2014) 2
In this essay I will focus on two theoretical threads which I see as intertwined in Murdoch’s philosophical work: the thread of consciousness which is in relationship with the Good, that Murdoch considers the “magnet” of morality and religion, and the thread of public conduct. Firstly, distancing herself from behaviorism, Murdoch highlights the serious damage which comes from a linguistic method incapable of considering the moral relevance of mental events: the particular experience which takes place in the conscience exists. Murdoch’s recovery of Platonist thought brings her to indicate the moral pilgrimage as path of moral discipline: she considers how the subject through the exercise of virtue in the daily life establishes a relationship with the Good, understood in a Platonistic way as impersonal and transcendent. Furthermore she recovers the ontological proof of Anselm, which she considers essential in demonstrating that nothing is more necessary in moral philosophy than the recognition of Good as an unconditional element in the structure of reason and reality. Secondly, distancing herself from the critique of religion, Murdoch, instead, formulates a new type of religion which has at its centre a concept which is valid for every human being (even those who do not believe in God): Good intended as virtue, which becomes the absolute goal of human life – it is the “bridge” between morality and religion. Thirdly Iris Murdoch integrates her meditation on the conscience with the theory of obligation, a reflection on public morality, whose characteristics are not assimilable to the inner life. Murdoch considers the important role of duty, as external rule which operates when the moral instinct fails, when the subject prefers to follow his natural selfish inclination because he doesn’t reflect carefully. According to Murdoch, even if morality is not reducible to a list of duties, these duties are, nevertheless, indispensable; their task is to stop egoism (duty is “a bridle placed on egoism”).
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2014) XVI/2

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