Aarhus Universitets segl

Anne Eggert Stevns


Anne Eggert Stevns


The main idea of my Ph.d.-project is to read Murdoch as a modern moral philosophical reply to what Zygmunt Bauman has called the ‘overdetermined’ and misunderstood ideal of personal freedom through self-assertive consumerism in modern Western societies.

In looking into what resources for reflection existential philosophy might contribute with in this regard, I seek to connect Iris Murdoch’s moral and existential philosophy to other major existential and phenomenological philosophers (Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Levinas) with whom she shared similar concerns about topics such as the self, freedom and responsibility. In contrast to those thinkers, I will look at how she presents an anti-individualistic corrective to the, very often, heroic and self-concerned notion of individual freedom, self and responsibility that runs through the history of most major existential philosophies. My approach will be historically oriented, and I will thus be looking at the impact of historical movements, such as Romanticism and the Enlightenment, on the development of the idea of self and freedom in the existential philosophical tradition as the background of my work on Murdoch’s critical reception of this tradition.

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