Despite the initial strangeness of grouping Iris Murdoch (a Platonist), Martha Nussbaum (an Aristotelian), and Richard Rorty (a pragmatist) together, this paper will argue that these thinkers share a strong commitment to the moral purport of literature. I will also show that their shared idea of moral engagement through literature interlocks the individual’s sense of self and the world of others. After considering their accounts, I will conclude by raising the question of literature’s moral limits.


Murdoch, Nussbaum, Rorty, literature, ethics

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