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Language lost and found : on Iris Murdoch and the limits of philosophical discourse PDF

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Language Lost and Found ii Language Lost and Found On Iris Murdoch and the Limits of Philosophical Discourse Niklas Forsberg NEW YORK • LONDON • NEW DELHI • SYDNEY Bloomsbury Academic An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 1385 Broadway 50 Bedford Square New York London NY 10018 WC1B 3DP USA UK www.bloomsbury.com Bloomsbury is a registered trade mark of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2013 © Niklas Forsberg, 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publishers. No responsibility for loss caused to any individual or organization acting on or refraining from action as a result of the material in this publication can be accepted by Bloomsbury Academic or the author. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress. ISBN: HB: 978-1-6235-6483-4 ePub: 978-1-6235-6973-0 ePDF: 978-1-6235-6659-3 Typeset by Deanta Global Publishing Services, Chennai, India For Nora vi Contents Acknowledgements ix Introduction 1 1 Apparent Paradoxes 1 5 1.1 The received view and its complications 15 1.2 Approaching The Black Prince 22 1.3 Localizing Murdoch 31 1.4 A fatty pâté and a plateful of cherries: On Nussbaum (on literature) 38 1.5 The commonplaceness of the approach 45 1.6 Preparatory summary: The appearance of paradox 53 2 How to Make a Mirror 5 7 2.1 Murdoch on art and literature and love 57 2.2 What is a mirror? 76 2.3 Wittgenstein and the difficulty of acknowledging illusions of sense 81 2.4 Kierkegaard and grammatical illusions 86 2.5 Mirroring illusions: The thought of the indirect communication 90 2.6 Inheriting Wittgenstein (and Kierkegaard) 95 3 Sensing a Sense Lost 113 3.1 Loss of concepts, loss of questions 113 3.2 Contrasting pictures of the human 127 3.3 Vision over choice 136 3.4 Making pictures (perfectionism and vision) 138 4 Reading The Black Prince 151 4.1 ‘Murdoch’s most self-consciously Platonic Kierkegaardian love story’ 151 4.2 In the context of Bradley Pearson’s form of life 158 4.3 Passing verdict: Who did it? 177 4.4 In disagreement with oneself: A failure to mean 182 5 What is it Like to Be a Corpse? 187 5.1 Introduction: Running out of arguments? 187 5.2 Costello’s speechlessness and Diamond’s concerns 189 viii Contents 5.3 The exemplary bat 196 5.4 Understanding deflection 202 5.5 Concluding remarks 209 6 Smashing Mirrors, Collecting the Pieces, Returning Our Words 211 6.1 The concept of a concept and the loss of concepts 211 6.2 Smashing mirrors, returning to the ordinary 219 6.3 Literature, distance and the return of our words 222 Bibliography 231 Index 239 Acknowledgements This book is the (main) outcome of a research project funded by The Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation. I am extremely grateful for this support. I am most thankful to Haaris Naqvi and Ally Jane Grossan at Bloomsbury for their support, and for seeing this book through to publication. I would also like to express my sincere and humble gratitude to James Conant, Johan Gustafsson, Martin Gustafsson, Nora Hämäläinen, Lars Hertzberg, Ingeborg Löfgren, Erik Jansson, Carly Lane, Kate Larson, Tove Österman, Sharon Rider, David Robjant, Pär Segerdahl and Sören Stenlund for discussions concerning the difficulties I discuss here and for commenting upon earlier versions of chapters in this book. I would also like to express my gratitude to all the participants and the ‘Seminar of Philosophy of Language and Culture’ at the Department of Philosophy, Uppsala University, and the ‘Research Seminar’ at the Department of Philosophy, Åbo Akademi University, for fruitful conversations, helpful comments, criticism and friendship. Thank you all. My warmest note of gratitude goes to Nora, for assisting me, supporting me, challenging me, criticizing me, cheering for me, for always being a conversation- driven thinker and for being the centre of my life and our beautiful family.

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