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Graduation Date

5-2015

Abstract

Abstract

Iris Murdoch and the Importance of Stepping Outside the Self

Megan Johnson

Iris Murdoch was a philosopher, essayist, and novelist who utilized her fictional works such as The Green Knight to artistically depict the core values of her philosophies. Murdoch’s compilation of philosophical essays The Sovereignty of Good expounds upon her belief in the importance of unselfishness in the face of virtues and morality. Murdoch argues against Kantian philosophy which relies heavily on empirical reasoning in her essays and again as her concepts are portrayed by the characters in her novels. This essay explains both Murdoch and Kant’s views on the self and morality and the role of art in portraying them. By analyzing Kantian philosophy versus Murdoch’s philosophy in conjunction with support gathered from Murdoch’s fiction, The Green Knight, her ideas encouraging unselfing habits can be utilized to establish a better grounding in morality while utilizing art as an educator.

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