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Cathy Mason
Central European University
  1. Murdoch's Ontological Argument.Cathy Mason & Matt Dougherty - forthcoming - European Journal of Philosophy.
    Anselm’s ontological argument is an argument for the existence of God. This paper presents Iris Murdoch’s ontological argument for the existence of the Good. It discusses her interpretation of Anselm’s argument, her own distinctive appropriation of it, as well as some of the merits of her version of the argument. In doing so, it also shows how the argument integrates some key Murdochian ideas: morality’s wide scope, the basicness of vision to morality, moral realism, and Platonism.
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  2. The epistemic demands of friendship: friendship as inherently knowledge-involving.Cathy Mason - 2020 - Synthese 199 (1-2):2439-2455.
    Many recent philosophers have been tempted by epistemic partialism. They hold that epistemic norms and those of friendship constitutively conflict. In this paper, I suggest that underpinning this claim is the assumption that friendship is not an epistemically rich state, an assumption that even opponents of epistemic partiality have not questioned. I argue that there is good reason to question this assumption, and instead regard friendship as essentially involving knowledge of the other. If we accept this account of friendship, the (...)
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  3. Iris Murdoch and the Epistemic Significance of Love.Cathy Mason - 2021 - In Simon Cushing (ed.), New Philosophical Essays on Love and Loving. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 39-62.
    Murdoch makes some ambitious claims about love’s epistemic significance which can initially seem puzzling in the light of its heterogeneous and messy everyday manifestations. I provide an interpretation of Murdochian love such that Murdoch’s claims about its epistemic significance can be understood. I argue that Murdoch conceives of love as a virtue, and as belonging at the pinnacle of the hierarchy of the virtues, and that this makes sense of the epistemic role Murdochian love fulfills. Moreover, I suggest that there (...)
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    Hoping and Intending.Cathy Mason - 2021 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 7 (4):514-529.
    Hope powerfully influences our lives, deeply shaping our actions, as well as being essential for social and political change. Many accounts of hope, however, fail to do justice to its active role, ignoring the connection between hope and action that makes it a significant feature of our lives. In this essay, I propose a new account of hope in which hopes characteristically shape and figure in intentions. I argue that this account does justice to hope's distinctive manifestations in action, explains (...)
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  5. The Women Are up to Something: How Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley, and Iris Murdoch Revolutionized Ethics by Benjamin Lipscomb (New York: Oxford University Press, 2021). [REVIEW]Cathy Mason - 2022 - Philosophy 97 (4):549-553.
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    Is Forgiveness Openness to Reconciliation?Cathy Mason & Matt Dougherty - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    In a recent paper, Strabbing (2020) argues that forgiveness is openness to reconciliation relative to a relationship level. In this paper, we argue that the openness-to-reconciliation account of forgiveness does not constitute an improvement on the forswearing-resentment account. We argue that it does not fit well with our ordinary practices of forgiving and cannot allow for plausible cases of forgiveness without reconciliation. We also argue that the features Strabbing identifies as distinct advantages of her account are features of the forswearing-resentment (...)
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    Mourning and the Recognition of Value.Cathy Mason & Matt Dougherty - forthcoming - In Mikolaj Slawkowski-Rode (ed.), Meanings of Mourning: Perspectives on Death, Loss and Grief. Lexington Books.
    If mourning is a proof of value, how could it be appropriate to move on when one has truly loved and valued someone? Assuming that it is appropriate to value others extremely highly – perhaps even infinitely – how could it ever make sense for one’s grief to abate? Do loss and proper mourning thus present us with a choice between living well and loving well? This paper aims to vindicate the pressing nature of these questions while arguing that we (...)
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  8. Iris Murdoch, privacy, and the limits of moral testimony.Cathy Mason - 2022 - European Journal of Philosophy 30 (3):1125-1134.
    Recent discussions of moral testimony have focused on the acceptability of forming beliefs on the basis of moral testimony, but there has been little acknowledgement of the limits to testimony's capacity to convey moral knowledge. In this paper I outline one such limit, drawing on Iris Murdoch's conception of private moral concepts. Such concepts, I suggest, plausibly play an important role in moral thought, and yet moral knowledge expressed in them cannot be testimonially acquired.
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    The Virtue of Hope in a Turbulent World.Cathy Mason - 2022 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 92:293-306.
    I argue that hope is an ethical virtue. Hope, I suggest, is necessary for engaging in a broad kind of project which is essential for living a meaningful human life, and this gives us reason to think that it is non-instrumentally valuable in our lives. Specifically, I claim that hope is well understood as a ‘structural virtue’ without which we are prone to slip into despair, fantasy and cynicism. Moreover, I argue that this virtue will be particularly significant in turbulent (...)
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  10.  91
    What’s Bad about Friendship with Bad People?Cathy Mason - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (7):523-534.
    Is there something bad about being friends with seriously bad people? Intuitively, it seems so, but it is hard to see why this should be. This is especially the case since some other kinds of loving relationship with bad people look morally acceptable or even good. In this paper, I argue that friendship inherently involves taking one’s friends seriously, which involves openness to their beliefs, concerns, and subjective interests. Deeply immoral views and attitudes ought not to be taken seriously or (...)
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  11. Jennifer Cole Wright (ed.), Humility. [REVIEW]Cathy Mason - 2021 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 18 (5):550-553.
  12. On the basis of friendship - a reply to Phelan.Cathy Mason - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    What is common to all instances of friendship? Given their seemingly heterogeneous character, Phelan (2019. “Rethinking Friendship.” Inquiry) suggests that friendships are relationships that result from collaborative norm-manipulation. In this paper, I suggest that this proposal fails to account for all friendships without relying on the notion of some kind of care.
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  13. Responsibility and Comparative Pride – a Critical Discussion of Morgan-Knapp.Cathy Mason - 2020 - Philosophical Quarterly 70 (280):617-624.
    Taking pride in being better than others in some regard is not uncommon. In a recent paper, Christopher Morgan-Knapp argues that such pride is misguided: it ‘presents things as being some way they are not’. I argue that Morgan-Knapp's arguments do not succeed in showing that comparative pride is theoretically mistaken.
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  14. Humility and Ethical Development.Cathy Mason - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 17 (1).
    Humility can seem like a somewhat ‘unfashionable’ virtue: the word can conjure an image of cringing servility, unduly romanticised feelings of inferiority, or a level of self-denial which seems ill-placed in a life well-lived. But the term can also capture something of great ethical importance. In this paper, I will propose an account of humility that attempts to capture this moral significance. I will then explore the connection between humility and ethical development, seeking to argue that humility has an important (...)
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  15.  14
    Epistemic Partialism.Cathy Mason - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass:e12896.
    Most of us are partial to our friends and loved ones: we treat them with special care, and we feel justified in doing so. In recent years, the idea that good friends are also epistemically partial to one another has been popular. Being a good friend, so-called epistemic partialists suggest, involves being positively biased towards one's friends – that is, involves thinking more highly of them than is warranted by the evidence. In this paper, I outline the concept of epistemic (...)
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