Conference programme: Ethics after Murdoch

Ethics after Murdoch

A conference co-organized by the Centre for Ethics as Study in Human Value and the Iris Murdoch Society.

June 6 – 7, 2019

University of Pardubice, Czech Republic

Historical Building, Čs. legií 565, Pardubice


“I cannot pretend to give an account of Iris Murdoch’s contribution to moral philosophy, much less sum it up or give some verdict on it. Her contribution is much too rich, and we are much too close to it.” These are Charles Taylor’s opening words to his essay “Iris Murdoch and Moral Philosophy,” published in 1996 and based on talk from 1994. Today, a generation later, scholars have blazed several trails of research on her work: on the roles of love and imagination in ethics, the relationship between philosophy and literature, the fact/value dichotomy, the role of metaphysics in ethics, the significance of cultural philosophy in ethics and the place of religious faith, imagery and practices in secular modernity. Yet, as researchers concerned with and influenced by her work, we may still recognize and share Taylor’s experience of a philosophy, which addresses our moral situation in ways so rich that we do not quite see its full implications.

This conference brings together scholars and philosophers to reflect over Murdoch’s philosophical legacy and its potentials for addressing contemporary issues, in moral philosophy as well as in the complex moral present that we inhabit.



Thursday, June 6


Room: 03004

9:00 – 9:15   Registration

9:15 – 9:30   Welcome Address

09:30 – 10:45 Keynote Lecture: Hanna Marije Altorf 'Morality is "naturally religious"': Some Observations on Twenty Years of Reading Murdoch (Chair Nora Hämäläinen)

10:45 – 11:00  COFFEE



Room 03004                     

11:00 – 11:40 Niklas Forsberg: The Concept-forming Words we Utter

11:40 – 12:20  Silvia Panizza: Impossibility and Choice in Animal Ethics (Chair Ondřej Krása)


Room 03005

11:00 – 11:40 Tobias Gutman: Murdoch and Dworkin on the supposed neutrality of metaethics

11:40 – 12:20 Wojciech Kaftanski: The Moral Dimension of Mental Imagery: Imagination, Selfhood and Praxis after Murdoch (Chair Hugo Strandberg)


12:20 – 13:45  LUNCH



Room 03004                     

13:45 – 14:25 Ondřej Beran: “In Buddhism I take refuge”

14:25 – 15:05 Craig Taylor: Murdoch on Moral Realism and First-Person Moral Judgments (Chair Joseph Wiinikka-Lydon)


Room 03005

13:45 – 14:25 Nora Hämäläinen: Axioms

14:25 – 15:05  Michael Campbell: Domestic Violence Through a Murdochian Lens (Chair Antony Fredriksson)


15:05 – 15:30  COFFEE


Room 03004                                                        

15:30 – 16:45  Keynote Lecture: Gillian Dooley “Explaining particular cases in very great detail”: Iris Murdoch’s Philosophy of Fiction (Chair Niklas Forsberg)


16:45 – 18:00  RECEPTION (Wine and snacks)

18:30   DINNER



Friday June 7, 2019


Room 03004

09:15 – 10:30    Keynote Lecture: Mark Hopwood  "How can one be a moralist in this age?" Iris Murdoch and the Crisis in Moral Philosophy (Chair Ondřej Beran)


10:30 – 10:45  COFFEE



Room 03004                     

10:45 – 11:25 Salla Peltonen: Queer love, Literature and Philosophy: Reading Maggie Nelson’s The Argonauts with Iris Murdoch

11:25 – 12:05 Ryan Manhire: “Tell me what you do for love”: Kendrick Lamar, Iris Murdoch, Dark Fantasies, and Imagination as Saviour (Chair Silvia Panizza)


Room 03005     

10:45 – 11:25  Camilla Kronqvist & Nathan Elgabsi: Laying “one’s cards on the table”

11:25 – 12:05 Lotte Spreeuwenberg: ‘Love’ as a Verb: the Missing Aspect in Kantian Accounts of Love (Chair Kamila Pacovská)


12:05 – 13:30   LUNCH



Room 03004                                                     

13:30 – 14:10 Norman Lillegard: Ethics, Literature, and Murdoch’s “Platonism” (Chair Matej Cíbik)


Room 03005

13:30 – 14:10 Frits Gåvertsson: Tiresias as A Murdochian Exemplar in Sophocles’ Antigone (Chair Nora Hämäläinen)



Room 03004   

14.10 – 14.50 Joseph Wiinikka-Lydon: Murdoch, Injury, and the Felt Structure of Morality (Chair Matej Cíbik)


14:50 – 15:20  COFFEE


Room 03004

15:20 – 16:00  Miles Leeson: Iris Murdoch: Towards an Ethics of Care

16:00 – 16:40   Frances White: Iris Murdoch and the Shock of Remorse (Chair Niklas Forsberg)


Room 03004

16:45 – 17:15 Concluding discussion (Chair Nora Hämäläinen)


The conference is part of the celebration of the centenary of Murdoch’s birth and is a collaboration between the Centre for Ethics as Human Value and the Iris Murdoch Society.

If you are interested in attending the event, please contact