Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (3):207-220 (2013)

W. Scott Clifton
Rochester Institute of Technology
There has been a recent surge of interest in the moral philosophy of Iris Murdoch. One issue that has arisen is whether her view advocates a form of moral perception. In this paper I argue that her view does indeed advocate for a form of moral perception—what I call weak moral perception. In the process of moral reasoning weak moral perception plays a preparatory role for moral judgment, which means that moral judgment isn’t simply a matter of seeing what action to perform, but that the right kind of perception is crucial to being able to make good moral decisions. One aspect of Murdoch’s account that has aroused special interest is her suggestion that the right kind of perception relies on the agent’s being in a state of love. I give what I think is the correct account of Murdochian love, which then allows me to defend her view against red herring-type objections raised recently by David Velleman and Charles Starkey.
Keywords moral perception  Iris Murdoch  virtue ethics  love
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10790-013-9382-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,226
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Love as a Moral Emotion.J. David Velleman - 1999 - Ethics 109 (2):338-374.
Pollyanna Realism: Moral Perception and Moral Properties.M. Watkins & K. D. Jolley - 2002 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 80 (1):75 – 85.
On the Category of Moral Perception.Charles Starkey - 2006 - Social Theory and Practice 32 (1):75-96.
Transcendence Without Reality.John R. Wright - 2005 - Philosophy 80 (3):361-384.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Moral Perception.Preston J. Werner - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1).
Which Moral Properties Are Eligible for Perceptual Awareness?Preston J. Werner - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (3):290-319.
Humility and Ethical Development.Cathy Mason - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (1).

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Case for Moral Perception.J. Jeremy Wisnewski - 2015 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 14 (1):129-148.
Moral Perception and Its Evaluative Dimension.Xinyan Jiang - 2008 - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 10:215-220.
A Limited Defense of Moral Perception.Justin P. McBrayer - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 149 (3):305–320.
Moral Perception and Moral Knowledge.Robert Audi - 2010 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 84 (1):79-97.
Moral Knowledge by Perception.Sarah McGrath - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):209–228.
Iris Murdoch and the Nature of Good.Elizabeth Burns - 1997 - Religious Studies 33 (3):303-313.
Moral Perception and Responsiveness.Peggy DesAutels - 2012 - Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (3):334-346.
Moral Vision: Iris Murdoch and Alasdair Maclntyre. [REVIEW]Michael Schwartz - 2009 - Journal of Business Ethics 90 (S3):315 - 327.


Added to PP index

Total views
98 ( #118,017 of 2,499,678 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #139,330 of 2,499,678 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes