MoralSubjectivity and the Language of Virtue

  • Joseph Wiinikka-LydonEmail author


As moral subjectivity is a thin, abstract notion, it requires rich, descriptive images of the human, as well as a vocabulary, to make it thick and applicable to real life situations. Iris Murdoch is presented as a prime example of how virtue language can provide this content. This chapter gives an overview of Murdoch’s virtue language and metaphysics, and how she conceives of moral development and change in terms of virtue. It ends with a reading of survivors’ testimony from the Bosnian war through the lens of Murdoch’s approach to virtue. This chapter also helps the reader understand a key cause of suffering in moral injury, that is, the way survivors can feel responsible for violence, even when an objective observer might insist that the survivor had no power to stop the violence.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for EthicsUniversity of PardubicePardubiceCzech Republic

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