Hypatia 30 (4):743-759 (2015)

In her book Iris Murdoch, Gender and Philosophy, Sabina Lovibond argues that Iris Murdoch's philosophical and literary work is covertly dedicated to an ideology of female subordination. The most central and interesting aspect of her multifaceted argument concerns Murdoch's focus on the individual person's moral self-scrutiny and transformation of consciousness. Lovibond suggests that this focus is antithetical to the kind of communal and structural criticism of society that has been essential for the advance of feminism. She further reads Murdoch's dismissal of “structuralism” as proof of Murdoch's alleged conservatism and neglect of feminist concerns. In this article I will argue that this line of argument—though not completely off-base concerning the awkwardness of Murdoch's relation to feminism— gives a misleading picture of Murdoch's philosophical and ideological position, and establishes a problematic antagonism between moral self-scrutiny and social criticism, which a closer look at Murdoch's work can help us overcome
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DOI 10.1111/hypa.12172
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Modern Moral Philosophy.G. E. M. Anscombe - 1958 - Philosophy 33 (124):1 - 19.
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals.Iris Murdoch - 1992 - Allen Lane, Penguin Press.

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