Iris Murdoch Quotes

  Even those novelists most commonly deemed philosophical have sometimes answered with an emphatic no. Iris Murdoch, the longtime Oxford philosopher and author of some two dozen novels treating highbrow themes like consciousness and morality, argued that philosophy and literature were contrary pursuits. Philosophy calls on the analytical mind to solve conceptual problems in an austere, unselfish, candid prose, she said in a BBC interview broadcast in 1978, while literature looks to the imagination to show us something mysterious, ambiguous, particular about the world. Any appearance of philosophical ideas in her own novels was an inconsequential reflection of what she happened to know. If I knew about sailing ships I would put in sailing ships, she said. And in a way, as a novelist, I would rather know about sailing ships than about philosophy.  
Iris Murdoch

Quotes by author Iris Murdoch


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