Chapter

Imagining the Good without God

Maria Antonaccio

in A Philosophy to Live By

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199855575
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199933198 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199855575.003.0005
Imagining the Good without God

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This chapter analyzes the central aim of Murdoch’s religious thought: to dispense with the idea of God but to retain the notion of a moral absolute. The chapter traces the influence of Kant and Plato on Murdoch’s religious thought (and particularly on her defense of the unconditional claim of morality) via her recasting of Anselm’s ontological proof as a proof for the reality of the Good. The chapter also demonstrates the complex synthesis of Platonic and Kantian themes in Murdoch’s thought, particularly in her conception of the active role of the imagination in moral reflection and her affirmation of the reality and value of the individual. I argue that these themes produce a subtle reinflection in how we understand the role of vision and the idea of unselfing in Murdoch’s ethics.

Keywords: plato; kant; ontological proof; categorical imperative; godless theology; freedom; demythologization; fantasy; imagination; individual

Chapter.  9511 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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