Sartre's powerful political passions were united with a memorable literary gift, placing him foremost among the novelists, as well as the philosophers, of our time. Iris Murdoch's pioneering study analyses and evaluates the different strands of Sartre's rich and complex oeurve. Combining the objectivity of the scholar with a profound interest in contemporary problems, Iris Murdoch discusses the tradition of philosophical, political and aesthetic thought that gives historical authenticity to Satre's achievement, while showing the ambiguities and dangers inherent in his position.
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(198mm x 129mm x 9mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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US Kirkus Review »
Few write as well about philosophy as acclaimed novelist (The Severed Head, etc.) and retired Oxford U. philosophy don Murdoch. Thus this explication of Sartre's thought via the wisely chosen avenue of his fiction proves both penetrative and unusually accessible. Tree, existentialism's and Sartre's stars have fallen precipitously since the initial 1963 publication of this concise - and, given hindsight, overly laudatory - study; but those still interested in this most urban of philosophers will here find a splendid and concrete introduction to his work. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Iris Murdoch
Iris Murdoch was born in Dublin in 1919. She read Classics at Somerville College, Oxford, and after working in the Treasury and abroad, was awarded a research studentship in philosophy at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1948 she returned to Oxford as fellow and tutor at St Anne's College and later taught at the Royal College of Art. Until her death in 1999, she lived in Oxford with her husband, the academic and critic, John Bayley. She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1987 and in the 1997 PEN Awards received the Gold Pen for Distinguished Service to Literature. Iris Murdoch made her writing debut in 1954 with Under the Net. Her twenty-six novels include the Booker prize-winning The Sea, The Sea (1978), the James Tait Black Memorial prize-winning The Black Prince (1973) and the Whitbread prize-winning The Sacred and Profane Love Machine (1974). Her philosophy includes Sartre: Romantic Rationalist (1953) and Metaphysics as a Guide to Morals (1992); other philosophical writings, including The Sovereignty of Good (1970), are collected in Existentialists and Mystics (1997).