Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

Written by:

Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780140172324
  • 528 Pages
  • Penguin Books
  • Adult


The decline of religion and ever increasing influence of science pose acute ethical issues for us all. Can we reject the literal truth of the Gospels yet still retain a Christian morality? Can we defend any ‘moral values’ against the constant encroachments of technology? Indeed, are we in danger of losing most of the qualities which make us truly human? Here, drawing on a novelist’s insight into art, literature and abnormal psychology, Iris Murdoch conducts an ongoing debate with major writers, thinkers and theologians—from Augustine to Wittgenstein, Shakespeare to Sartre, Plato to Derrida—to provide fresh and compelling answers to these crucial questions.
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals

Written by: Iris Murdoch


“Iris Murdoch has written a book which concerns all of us as human beings … There are pages here that one wants to embrace her for, pages that say things of fundamental human importance in a way that they have never quite been said before”
—Noel Malcolm in the Sunday Telegraph

“This is philosophy dragged from the cloister, dusted down and made freshly relevant to suffering and egoism, death and religious ecstasy … and how we feel compasison for others”
—Terry Eagleton in the Guardian

“Gripping … it enchants with a clause that sets you daydreaming, captivates with a stream of thought, empowers with reminiscences”
—Ian Hacking in the London Review of Books

“Anyone who has even the slightest interest in philosophical matters will find Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals an utterly absorbing book”
The Wall Street Journal

“Remarkable … Iris Murdoch has once again put us all in her debt.”
—Alasdair MacIntyre in The New York Times Book Review

Table of Contents

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals1. Conceptions of Unity. Art
2. Fact and Value
3. Schopenhauer
4. Art and Religion
5. Comic and Tragic
6. Consciousness and Thought – I
7. Derrida and Structuralism
8. Consciousness and Thought – II
9. Wittgenstein and the Inner Life
10. Notes on Will and Duty
11. Imagination
12. Morals and Politics
13. The Ontological Proof
14. Descartes and Kant
15. Martin Buber and God
16. Morality and Religion
17. Axioms, Duties, Eros
18. Void
19. Metaphysics: A Summary