Chapter

‘For every Foot its own Shoe’: Method and Moral Theory in the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch

Julia Driver

in Iris Murdoch, Philosopher

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199289905
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191728471 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199289905.003.0012
‘For every Foot its own Shoe’: Method and Moral Theory in the Philosophy of Iris Murdoch

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This chapter explores Murdoch’s views attacking principle based ethics and argues that, while her concerns point to genuine problems for some principle based approaches, particularism is the wrong lesson to take away from these concerns. When Murdoch rejects theory, she is really rejecting a kind of methodology that approaches ethical issues and problems in an antiseptic and streamlined way. For her, the antidote to this form of theorizing was ‘experience.’ However, ‘experience’ doesn’t require actually living through moral problems oneself. Rather, it simply requires the agent to carefully reflect on a variety of moral issues, but consider those moral issues in a full, rich, context rather than via stripped down implausible scenarios.

Keywords: Iris Murdoch; particularism; moral theory; moral experience; impartiality

Chapter.  6764 words. 

Subjects: History of Western Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy

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