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Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (Penguin Philosophy) Paperback – 30 Sep 1993

4.2 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd; New edition edition (30 Sept. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140172327
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140172324
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.8 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 353,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

Review

"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"

Book Description

'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' Sunday Telegraph --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This boook is often seen as impenetrable,even by those who teach Murdoch. So it's very easy to be completely put off. However I began dipping into it whilst re-reading "The Bell" recently, because morality, and the living of a good life, are such a constant preoccupation in that book.I found some of the things she said in the chapter on morality really illuminated my reading of the text, and Iris Murdoch is one of those writers who benefit amazingly from this kind of background. I would just say to anyone interested in the novels, and thinking about having a go, that they should buy a copy and just begin dipping into it. Don't feel all daunted and put off, because just a couple of sentences of it will contain a thought you can ponder for hours while mindlessly travelling, on the tube, in the car, watching I'm a Celebrity...
Really, have a go.
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By A Customer on 24 April 2002
Format: Paperback
Iris Murdoch's 'Metaphysics As A Guide To Morals' is a must-have. It is the result of Murdoch's many years of reading and research- research resulting in a perceptive examination of issues of permanent relevance to philosophy, literature and art. The book is not 'preachy' by any means- it does purport to be a document of absolute truth- as if a philosophical text could be- or urge you to side with everything suggested in it. What it is, though, is the genius Murdoch presenting her personal opinions and ideas regarding these and other themes, developing new theoretical possibilities and expanding on traditional views. Superb. This is Murdoch at her brilliant best.
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Format: Paperback
Socrates posed several questions, one of them being 'what is good?'. As thinking beings we have purported through the milleniums to think about this question, and many more, and specially tried to relate such intellectual activities to the 'real' world of our everyday practical lives.
Iris Murdoch is one of those intellectuals of a group (my hypothesis) concerned with morality and in particular, questions to do with moral philosophy in the broadest sense. Others in that category vary from Nietzsche, J. M. Keyenes, Et cetera to major theological thinkers and texts.
Reading the 'Metaphysics' brings one closer to Murdoch. One begins to understand better that she did her philosophy through her stories. 'Afterall, aren't we all telling stories?' To paraphrase one of her characters from an earlier novel. She was concerned with re-discovering the roots of some of the bigger questions that any thinking person might ask; and in this book, she brilliantly, clearly, wittily follows through to their uses, changes, revelations - weaving her own genius throughout. I was reminded of her description of the fictious philosopher in 'The Philosopher's Pupil' when she writes, 'all the books are in him now'; I felt, that all the books were in her, and all I had to do was to read this one person's insights from her various narratives and I might just glimpse a 'truth' myself.
Indeed, seriously reading 'Metaphysics' must be, in the beginning, a pursuit to know oneself. However, in the end, turns towards the very opposite: not a deconstruction, nor a rebuilding of the self; but rather a 'blowing out'. A realisation of the grativy of people, even morally 'good' people, to draw towards them a veil of memorabilia, illusions, desires, regrets, life-denying, selfishness.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A really interesting investigation dominated by the ghosts of Wittgenstein, Schopenhauer and Simone Weil. The section on Art at the beginning is particularly good. The enquiry into The Ontological Proof of the existence of God also is also not one to miss.
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Looking around for some other author after devouring Chesterton (Everlasting Man, Orthodoxy), someone like him not locked into their times, I was surprised to find Iris Murdoch had sound philosophical training. My ignorance, I grant.

Since this book can be bought so cheaply I did so. How absolutely refreshing for a thinker to give everyone their due, from Plato to Derrida. She adopts a quietly serious tone. It can lull one into torpidity one moment, then flash with a very striking insight the next.

How do morals work; how fundamental are they to the fabric of reality; do philosophies that undermine moral absolutes do so from a moral standpoint?!

This lady deserves to be read attentively. (Her Sovereignty of Good might be a sensible primer to this magnum opus.)

On the side of the angels? Yes, I think so. May God have mercy on her moral soul.
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