Sophia 55 (2):197-213 (2016)

Christopher Donald Cordner
University of Melbourne
The idea of attention was brought back into mainstream philosophical thinking about ethics by Iris Murdoch, drawing on Simone Weil. While Murdoch’s use of the idea has been reflected on by a number of recent commentators, I think its deepest lessons have largely been missed. Beginning from a recurrent and revealing misreading of Murdoch on attention, a misreading often articulated through reflection on Murdoch’s example of M and D, I want to bring out some of those lessons. It is well-known that Murdoch links attention with just and loving vision. I describe a common, mistaken account of what she means by just and loving vision, and I then turn to other connotations of attention invoked by Murdoch. These other connotations are mentioned in dispatches by some commentators, but not dwelt upon. While Murdoch herself does not explore them extensively either, I argue that they are important for teasing out what matters most in Murdoch’s invocation of attention. As that way of putting suggests, my interest in Murdochian exegesis is eventually superseded by my attempts to elicit what I think to be some of the most fruitful implications of her reflections on attention.
Keywords Iris Murdoch  Attention  Seeing accurately  Loving vision  Being-present-to  Waiting-on
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DOI 10.1007/s11841-016-0540-2
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References found in this work BETA

Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals.Iris Murdoch - 1992 - Allen Lane, Penguin Press.
Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals.Iris Murdoch - 1995 - Journal of Speculative Philosophy 9 (1):78-81.
The Exploration of Moral Life.Carla Bagnoli - 2011 - In Justin Broakes (ed.), Iris Murdoch, philosopher. Oxford University Press.
Kantian Crystallization.Elijah Millgram - 2004 - Ethics 114 (3):511-513.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Moral Virtue of Being Understanding.Eva-Maria Düringer - 2021 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 24 (4):917-932.
Emerson and the “Pale Scholar”.Reza Hosseini - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (1):115-135.

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