Open Philosophy 4 (1):404-424 (2021)

Natan Elgabsi
Åbo Akademi University
Camilla Kronqvist
Åbo Akademi University
Engaging with the philosophical writings of Iris Murdoch, we submit that there are difficulties associated with providing a good description of morality that are intimately connected with difficulties in understanding other human beings. We suggest three senses in which moral philosophical reflection needs to account for our understanding of others: the failure to understand someone is not merely an intellectual failure, but also engages us morally; the moral question of understanding is not limited to the extent to which we understand a particular person, but also presents itself in how we picture difficulties in understanding people; and “philosophical pictures of morality” fundamentally shape the conceptual framework we use to investigate morality, as well as the analysis of morality we find illuminative and satisfactory. Exploring the implications of these claims, we ask what it means to think of others as the same, or as different, from ourselves. We then consider the ethical significance of finding, or not finding, our feet in our encounters with others, dwelling on how the metaphor of movement reveals one way in which we are never at peace in the exploration of morality.
Keywords love  attention  understanding  particularity   moral encounter  Iris Murdoch  Martin Buber  Ludwig Wittgenstein
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1515/opphil-2020-0193
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

.Jonathan Haidt - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
The Fragility of Goodness.Martha Nussbaum - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 85 (7):376-383.
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals.Iris Murdoch - 1992 - Allen Lane, Penguin Press.

View all 26 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Intentionalism and the Argument From No Common Content.Michael Tye - 2007 - Philosophical Perspectives 21 (1):589-613.
Lessons in Exile.Carlos Pereda - 2018 - Brill | Rodopi.
Exile and Return: From Phenomenology to Naturalism.David R. Cerbone - 2016 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 24 (3):365-380.
The Russian Cards Problem.Hans van Ditmarsch - 2003 - Studia Logica 75 (1):31-62.
Wittgenstein as Exile: A Philosophical Topography1.Michael A. Peters - 2008 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 40 (5):591-605.
Ezekiel and the Ethics of Exile.Andrew Mein - 2001 - Oxford University Press.
Emmanuel Levinas: A Philosophy of Exile.Abi Doukhan - 2012 - New York, NY, USA: bloomsbury.


Added to PP index

Total views
46 ( #248,249 of 2,519,871 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
35 ( #24,877 of 2,519,871 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes