Iris Murdoch was one of the great philosophers and novelists of the twentieth century and The Sovereignty of Good is her most important and enduring philosophical work. She argues that philosophy has focused, mistakenly, on what it is right to do rather than good to be and that only by restoring the notion of 'vision' to moral thinking can this ...
Iris Murdoch was one of the great philosophers and novelists of the twentieth century and The Sovereignty of Good is her most important and enduring philosophical work. She argues that philosophy has focused, mistakenly, on what it is right to do rather than good to be and that only by restoring the notion of 'vision' to moral thinking can this distortion be corrected. This brilliant work shows why Iris Murdoch remains essential reading: a vivid and uncompromising style, a commitment to forceful argument, and a courage to go against the grain. With a foreword by Mary Midgley.
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This book collects three papers/lecutres that orginally were conceived/written between 1962 and 1969. When I first started reading Idea of Perfection, I struggled to find a foothold in Murdoch's quick survey of moral philosophy, which she uses as foundation of her argument. A little persistence here, however, pays off ten-fold. Indeed, not many in such a short space could so quickly and clearly outline the position they critique. Once she has her groundwork, she then moves into the full sweep of her argument and her beautiful clear prose in places took my breath away. I literally had the feeling of looking down and suddenly understanding that I had climbed quite high. That same amazing scrutiny she directs to the people in her novels is focused on the abstract ideas of intention and motivation, raising them into an almost physical reality. Read the Idea of Perfection for its ideas. Agree or disagree. Read the Idea of Perfection as you would watch a gifted athelete at work.
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