The Earthy Realism of Plato's Metaphysics, or: What Shall We Do with Iris Murdoch?
Article first published online: 19 DEC 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 35, Issue 1, pages 43–67, January 2012
How to Cite
Robjant, D. (2012), The Earthy Realism of Plato's Metaphysics, or: What Shall We Do with Iris Murdoch?. Philosophical Investigations, 35: 43–67. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9205.2011.01455.x
- Issue published online: 19 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 19 DEC 2011
I develop Iris Murdoch's argument that “there is no Platonic ‘elsewhere,’ similar to the Christian ‘elsewhere.’ ” Thus: Iris Murdoch is against the Separation of the Forms not as a correction of Plato but in order to keep faith with him; Plato's Parmenides is not a source book of accurately targeted self-refutation but a catalogue of student errors; the testimony of Aristotle and Gilbert Ryle about Plato's motivations in the Theory of Forms is not an indubitable foundation from which to denounce Iris Murdoch's treatment of Plato as inaccurate but a rival reading of dubious charity. If Iris Murdoch's version of the Theory of Forms strikes Newton Garver as an incoherent mix of influences from Wittgenstein and Plato, this is not because Iris Murdoch is herself confused, but because in important respects the orthodoxy has Plato wrong.