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After Cursing the Library: Iris Murdoch and the (In)visibility of Women in Philosophy




This article offers a critical reading of three major biographies of the British novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch. It considers in particular how a limited concern for gender issues has hampered their portrayals of Murdoch as a creator of images and ideas. The biographies are then contrasted to a biographical sketch constructed from Murdoch's philosophical writing. The assessment of the biographies is set against the larger background of the relation between women and philosophy. In doing so, the paper offers a critical response to Sally Haslanger's recent “Musings” (Haslanger 2008), which is contrasted to Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own (1929) and Michèle Le Doeuff's Hipparchia's Choice (2007).