Truth, Beauty, and Goodness: The Philosophy of Iris Murdoch (PHI4108.01)

Douglas Kremm

Iris Murdoch (1919-1999) was a provocative and profoundly original thinker whose significance for contemporary philosophy is still being processed and absorbed today. Her work engages a wide range of topics, including art and religion, morals and politics, metaphysics and mysticism, the nature of the imagination, and the nature of the self. In this course, we will engage with significant portions of Murdoch’s work, aiming to achieve an overall understanding of the challenging positions she developed over the course of her career as both a philosopher and a novelist. Possible topics of discussion include: the relation between human identity and ideas of the good; the role of knowledge and emotion in the moral life; the distinction (or lack thereof) between facts and values; the effect of modern critiques of religion on moral life and thought; and the relation between ethics and literature.

Prerequisites: At least one previous class in philosophy and/or permission of instructor. Please send an email to for registration. Include a brief description of relevant prior coursework.
Credits: 4
M 4:10 - 6pm; Th 4:10 - 6pm
Maximum Enrollment: 18
Course Frequency:
This course is categorized as 4000, All courses, Areas of Study, Douglas Kremm, Four Credit, Monday and/or Thursday Afternoons, Philosophy, Society Culture and Thought.