Chapter

The Liberal Imagination

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/9780199855575.003.0009
The Liberal Imagination

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This chapter undertakes an assessment of Murdoch’s contributions to political thought through a wide-ranging analysis of her writings on liberalism. Its central thesis is that Murdoch’s mature position seeks to accommodate a liberal respect for the individual within the framework of her Platonism. While some interpreters may find “liberal Platonism” a contradiction in terms, this chapter aims to show how Murdoch brought these two impulses together in her ethics of unselfing. On my view, the imperative of unselfing need not be read as a coercive moral ideal that is imposed on individuals, as some interpreters have suggested. Rather, the ability to see beyond self can be understood a necessary prerequisite to a liberal tolerance and respect for individuals, whatever their particular vision of the good might be.

Keywords: liberal platonism; metaphysics; individual; moral psychology; unselfing; tolerance; john rawls; political morality; imagination

Chapter.  15656 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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