An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals by David Hume, Eric Steinberg, J. B. Schneewind

By David Hume, Eric Steinberg, J. B. Schneewind

A superb variation. Schneewind's illuminating creation succinctly situates the Enquiry in its old context, clarifying its dating to Calvinism, to Newtonian technological know-how, and to previous ethical philosophers, and supplying a persuasive account of Hume's moral naturalism. --Martha C. Nussbaum, Brown University

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As noted by Head, p. 257. 13. , p. 257. 14. See Reading after Theory (Oxford: Blackwell, 2002). 15. Cunningham, p. 149. 16. , p. 42. 17. EM, p. 24. Part I Reinstating Theology 1 Reconsidering Iris Murdoch’s Moral Philosophy and Theology Maria Antonaccio It has often been said that Iris Murdoch’s moral philosophy defies easy categorization, and one does not have to look far to see why. Trained in the analytic tradition at Oxford, she nevertheless challenged many of its central premises. A leading figure in the recovery of virtue ethics, she broke from her contemporaries by looking to Plato rather than Aristotle for inspiration.

Anselm points out that the very idea of God that the Fool’s atheistic assertion purports to deploy, the idea of God that is central to the Christian tradition, is that of a being than which nothing greater can be conceived. Since, however, we 23 24 Iris Murdoch: A Reassessment could conceive of a being greater than one which existed (as the Fool thinks God exists) solely in the human understanding – namely one which also existed outside it – then the Fool’s denial is not so much wrong as misdirected; for he misconceives the nature of the being whose existence is asserted by the believer.

Hare and Jean-Paul Sartre. In this context, Murdoch’s assertion that ‘how we see and describe the world is morals too’ (EM, p. 73) must indeed have appeared revolutionary. 7 Although the so-called literary turn in ethics reached its high point in the 1990s, a more wide-ranging rapprochement between ethics and aesthetics has just begun. Recent work on the ethical dimensions of visual art, for example – a medium that Murdoch regarded as a paradigm case of the exercise of moral vision – suggests that there are further insights to be gleaned from her thought in this area.

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