A Philosophy to Live By: Engaging Iris Murdoch

Hardcover | April 5, 2012

byMaria Antonaccio

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Iris Murdoch's philosophy has long attracted readers searching for a morally serious yet humane perspective on human life. Her eloquent call for "a theology which can continue without God" has been especially attractive to those who find that they can live neither with religion nor without it.By developing a form of thinking that is neither exclusively secular nor traditionally religious, Murdoch sought to recapture the existential or spiritual import of philosophy. Long before the current wave of interest in spiritual exercises, she approached philosophy not only as an academicdiscourse, but as a practice whose aim is the transformation of perception and consciousness. As she put it, a moral philosophy should be capable of being "inhabited"; that is, it should be "a philosophy one could live by."In A Philosophy to Live By, Maria Antonaccio argues that Murdoch's thought embodies an ascetic model of philosophy for contemporary life. Extending and complementing the argument of her earlier monograph, Picturing the Human: The Moral Thought of Iris Murdoch, this new work establishes Murdoch'scontinuing relevance by engaging her thought with a variety of contemporary thinkers and debates in ethics from a perspective informed by Murdoch's philosophy as a whole. Among the prominent philosophers engaged here are Charles Taylor, Martha Nussbaum, Stephen Mulhall, John Rawls, Pierre Hadot, andMichel Foucault, and theologians such as Stanley Hauerwas, David Tracy, William Schweiker, and others. These engagements represent a sustained effort to think with Murdoch, yet also beyond her, by enlisting the resources of her thought to explore wider debates at the intersections of moralphilosophy, religion, art, and politics, and in doing so, to illuminate the distinctive patterns and tropes of her philosophical style.

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Iris Murdoch's philosophy has long attracted readers searching for a morally serious yet humane perspective on human life. Her eloquent call for "a theology which can continue without God" has been especially attractive to those who find that they can live neither with religion nor without it.By developing a form of thinking that is ne...

Maria Antonaccio is a professor in the Religion Department at Bucknell University. She is the author of Picturing the Human: The Moral Thought of Iris Murdoch and co-editor of Iris Murdoch and the Search for Human Goodness. Her current research focuses on contemporary expressions and appropriations of ascetic discourse and practice, ...

other books by Maria Antonaccio

Picturing the Human: The Moral Thought of Iris Murdoch
Picturing the Human: The Moral Thought of Iris Murdoch

Hardcover|Apr 15 2000

$80.38 online$126.50list price(save 36%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:April 5, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199855579

ISBN - 13:9780199855575

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Table of Contents

PrefaceIntroduction: Interpreting Philosophy into Practical LifePart I. Metaphysics and the Idea of the Individual1. The Virtues of Metaphysics2. Form and Contingency3. The Consolations of LiteraturePart II. Religion and the Demand of the Good4. Imagining the Good without God5. The Return of Spiritual Exercises6. The Ascetic Impulse7. Religion and the Ubiquity of ValuePart III. Liberalism and the Pursuit of Ideals8. The Liberal Imagination9. The Lives of Iris Murdoch: An ApologiaAcknowledgmentsIndex