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Companions in Love: Iris Murdoch on Attunement in the Condition of Moral Realism

Mallaband Bergqvist, Anna (2019) Companions in Love: Iris Murdoch on Attunement in the Condition of Moral Realism. In: Companions in Guilt: Arguments in Metaethics. Routledge, London. ISBN 9780429454677 (In Press)


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Iris Murdoch both argues that perceptual experience itself can be evaluatively significant, and that the best way of making sense of this claim is to say that experience is shaped by the concepts that subjects possess and deploy as situated historical agents with a stance upon the world. This paper examines the implications of Murdoch’s distinctive conception of moral perception as a form of ‘vision’ revelatory of value for recent companions in guilt arguments for moral objectivism from thick evaluative concepts and speech act theory. I question the underlying motivation for holding that conventional norms that pertain to speech are themselves moral norms in developing a metaethical view of moral value (see Cuneo, 2014). Instead, I argue that there is an essentially relational dimension to realistic and continuous self-cultivation in concept application that is helpfully understood in terms of virtue. This, if I am right, brings into view a new perspective on the so-called companions in guilt strategy in metaethics.

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