‘I Think I Disagree’: Murdoch on Wittgenstein and Inner Life

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After receiving a copy of Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals, Murdoch’s friend Brian Medlin writes back: ‘So far I think I disagree with what you say in “Wittgenstein and the Inner Life,” but I’ll have to make sure that I’ve understood you aright (so there!) before I launch into a complaint.’ Here, I reconstruct Murdoch’s reading of Wittgenstein and show its ambivalence. While Murdoch acknowledges Wittgenstein’s aim to dissolve illusionary ideas about the inner, she also thinks he presents substantial theses threatening the reality of inner life. Murdoch’s misreading of Wittgenstein as a constructive philosopher may be what worries Medlin, and it also prevents Murdoch from seeing Wittgenstein as an ally in the endeavour to demonstrate the morally transformative potential of our inner lives.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReading Iris Murdoch’s Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals
EditorsNora Hämäläinen, Gillian Dooley
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2019
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-18966-2
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-18967-9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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