Morality, art, and moral education in the philosophy of Iris Murdoch
Keyhani, D. (2018). Morality, art, and moral education in the philosophy of Iris Murdoch (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12096
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/12096
In this research, the main focus is the educational role of art in the individual’s moral life. I begin by offering an account of Murdoch’s moral theory and discuss the concepts central to this theory. I argue that Murdoch’s moral theory is a form of virtue ethics, to demonstrate why moral education is important in her philosophy. I will then discuss the unique elements of Murdoch’s moral philosophy, especially her discussion of the concepts of imagination and fantasy, which is directly related to her theory of art and the role art plays in moral education. Drawing on my discussion of imagination and fantasy, I will go on to discuss Murdoch’s theory of art, focusing on her discussion of unity and disunity in art. I critically examine this view and discuss its drawbacks and show how, with a bit of modification, her view can be applied to most art forms. Finally, I draw on Murdoch’s moral view and her theory of art to develop a Murdochian view of the morally educational role of art, drawing on the few comments or suggestions that are found scattered throughout her work. I argue that both the artist and the recipient of art play important roles in making an artwork morally educational.
The University of Waikato
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