Latest from the blog

Iris Murdoch, Autism, and the Importance of Recognising Otherness

Iris Murdoch, Autism, and the Importance of Recognising Otherness

29 April 2024

While it may not be productive to diagnose a writer you have never met or communicated with, it is clear that Murdoch was aware of mental illness and mental difference as a psychological concept. Not only this, but she dealt with it as a subject in her fiction in a highly nuanced way. Perhaps progressively, mental illness and mental difference is not, for Murdoch, something which excludes you from the world of moral philosophy. It, in fact, not only includes, but requires you. The act of recognition of others as being other, and loving them truly for it, is at the centre of Murdoch’s philosophy, and thus her fiction. And is that not the fundamental principle of neurodiversity?

Welcome to the Iris Murdoch Society Website. The society exists to champion the work, and celebrate the life, of the novelist and philosopher Iris Murdoch: one of the most important writers and thinkers of the Twentieth Century.

Murdoch's work spans fiction (26 novels), philosophy, plays, poetry and thousands of letters. All of her work is still in print, and you can find recent books about her life and work in our online shop.

The Society is for all readers and enthusiasts with hundreds of members from accross the world. We organise regular events in the UK, and promote events worldwide. We organise a bienniel international conference alongside a bienniel Summer School.

Become a member

Join the Iris Murdoch Society to:

  • Receive the Iris Murdoch Review on publication
  • Keep up to date with scholarship, new publications, symposia and other information
  • Be entitled to reduced rates for the biennial Iris Murdoch Conferences at Chichester University

Events

Blog

Iris Murdoch, Autism, and the Importance of Recognising Otherness

Iris Murdoch, Autism, and the Importance of Recognising Otherness

29 April 2024

While it may not be productive to diagnose a writer you have never met or communicated with, it is clear that Murdoch was aware of mental illness and mental difference as a psychological concept. Not only this, but she dealt with it as a subject in her fiction in a highly nuanced way. Perhaps progressively, mental illness and mental difference is not, for Murdoch, something which excludes you from the world of moral philosophy. It, in fact, not only includes, but requires you. The act of recognition of others as being other, and loving them truly for it, is at the centre of Murdoch’s philosophy, and thus her fiction. And is that not the fundamental principle of neurodiversity?

Re-reading early Murdoch: The Unicorn

Re-reading early Murdoch: The Unicorn

17 April 2024

The Unicorn is immediately a kind of frame narrative: a train story itself, which begins with an arrival at a remote railway station and ends with our two narrative guides departing ‘as the express carried them away across the central plain’, leaving behind the dramatic story of Hannah Crean-Smith, the unicorn of the novel’s title.

Re-reading early Murdoch: Flight from the Enchanter

Re-reading early Murdoch: Flight from the Enchanter

10 February 2024

As you re-read Flight from the Enchanter, there are moments when you can’t stop yourself from checking its original date of publication. How could this have been written 70 years ago? A press baron trying to take over a small publication, for example? Or the opening paragraph of Chapter 25, which recounts parliamentary questions about migrants and hostile news coverage the following day? Weren’t they just last week?

The Iris Murdoch Review

  • Iris Murdoch Review 14, 2023 £10.00
  • Iris Murdoch Review 13, 2022 £5.00
  • Iris Murdoch Review 12, 2021 £5.00
  • Iris Murdoch Review 11, 2020 £5.00