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Agencies of the Good in the Work of Iris Murdoch


Diana Phillips

In part one Iris Murdoch's work is set against its contemporary background. Her concept of Man, as seen both in her fiction and in her philosophical work, is discussed with special attention being paid to the influence of Plato, J.P. Sartre, Simone Weil, Gabriel Marcel and the linguistic philosophers. Murdoch's views on the Good, and on Love, Death and Art, her main agencies of the Good, are then dealt with in greater detail. In part two five novels, which are representative of her literary output, are examined in greater depth.
Contents: Iris Murdoch's Conception of the Novel - The Philosophical Background - Love, Death and Art as Agencies of the Good - Romantic Love Versus Spiritual Love in 'The Bell' and 'The Unicorn' - Love and Death in 'Bruno's Dream' - The Complementarity of Good and Evil in 'A Fairly Honourable Defeat' - Love and Art in 'The Black Prince'.