In the press
In the press
What is unconditional love?
How can art help us to predict the future?
What do you think is the relationship between consciousness and (non bodily) matter? Can traces of consciousness remain on/in matter (mountains, rocks, paintings…..)
How important are physical experiences in comparison to a mental experience?
Hello my name is Aureja, thats pronounced o-ray-ya not orayja, orayua or aurora, as many assume. Well, they guess, but fail. Anyway, how are you? That’s probably my question since I’m not good at forming questions on the spot. How do you feel? How do you know exactly what that feeling is? Yes we title for emotions like joy and sadness, but how do we know our joy is the same to someone else’s joy? How did people explain those feelings when agreeing on what to call it? Are there emotions we have yet to discover? How would we know that it is indeed an emotion with no title instead of just a variation of something already existing? I don’t know if that makes any sense but hey, I tried. Thank you for reading, I hope it was legible.
How do you reconcile yourself with the impossibility of living a consistently or completely good life? Help.
Where do my thoughts go?
Do you think that a) being a polyglot or b) knowing some linguistics improves one’s philosophy (eg by avoiding puzzles which are in fact language-specific
I wonder whether time exists at all. I know you are a metaphysician writing something about time. Can you recommend any book or novel of yours to find the meaning of time for me? And why do you think time being real?
As I become older I find that my perception of the past changes. New ways of thinking today change the way I think about the past. It is hard to remember exactly how I felt about things (politics) then because of what is happening now. Richard
Do you think happiness or wellbeing should be the measure we use to assess growth and progress of our countries? And how should we measure/define this wellbeing? Thank you, L.S.
Is philosophy a religion?
Is it more important to feel or think?
How can I become a better person?
Can we be certain of anything? Matthew
I’ve been thinking about the idea of money and how it can give power to the wrong people. I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. Is money equal to power? Hope you’re well. Best, J
What is Love?
What creates cultural cohesion and the attraction of a counter culture?
How do you take your philosophical ponderings and make them practical in everyday life? (This is something I sometimes find difficult) Thank you ? Erika
Who decides what beauty is?
How do we think? PS I am eight
As we reach towards the end of our life here on earth, my wife and I are having deep discussions, which everyone in the country will have to consider at some point, about whether we should be buried or cremated. I am for the former but my wife is strongly against this and favours cremation. Are there any philosophie answers or approaches to this question? Joan &David Your answers may help us resolve this dilemna
I am in a crossroad at the moment in my life: should I choose the ‘safe’ and easy way or should I change everything? How do you know where to settle in life? Yours, Sonia
Can there be a justification for watching and/or recording the suffering of others that we are unable to help?
This is my question – “Is forgiveness a natural instinct or a religious/social concept?”. Topics of forgiveness and redemption have always fascinated me; I hope you can help. Thanks and all good wishes Gerardine Montgomery
There are so many languages in the world, each with words or expressions that do not exist in other languages. How can we truly communicate with one another without these ‘missing’ words?
how do we keep our moral compass in such a corrupt and profit driven world? Do we give up on our dreams? Xx
How can we sustain and support ourselves in daily life when the world faces so many serious crises?
What do you make of your legacy?
How do you cope in a dying world? I find it so hard to find a balance, I’m trying to make my life more sustainable, etc etc, but the knowledge that it’s large, systematic, company + government led change that will actually make a difference makes most of my friends say ‘what’s the point?’ What do I do with my guilt that I didn’t go on any of the marches because I had a broken leg and anyway I work with children. I feel like I’m just making excuses? Love, Flora
How important is “Home” to human existence? Is home a place? Or do we carry it with us? How do places shape our possibilities as individuals? So many questions not enough time!
How old is time?
Does our sense of the future and ability to worry about it, damage our natural ability to cope with the present.
Do animals have a sense of profundity or spiritual significance in their life’s experiences? Regards,
Why do we feel ‘sadness’?
Dear Iris. If you knew you had one more year to live, what would you focus on? I’m trying to imagine what you would think about and do more of – and what you would do less of and let go. Thank you in anticipation
Why do we respect the dead more than the living?
I am interested to know whether you subscribe to the idea of an essential self – do we have a unique individual essence or are we made up by the flows of words, concepts and practice that complicate our present time? Sincerely Stephen
How much do we give to others, and how much do we keep for ourselves?
If I think one artwork is better than another one, is that just personal taste, or is there any way of ranking which is more objective? Assume I have studied some art history… Tom
Dear Iris, I’ve just returned from a wonderful month of holidays. I lived slowly and spontaneously, paying close attention to the people and the world around me. Now I dread returning to my everyday life, which is lived by to-do lists. It seems less of a good life. It seems less true too; it seems we fool ourselves when we treat life and ourselves as if they submit to planning, to management, to our wills essentially. Yet I wouldn’t be able to fulfil my responsibilities and still thrive without to-do lists and the like. Dear Iris, I know receptivity and attention are important to you and also that you lead a productive life. Enlighten me: can receptivity and productivity be reconciled, or only lived in turns? all the best to you, Annemarie
Is the truth unbearable?
My Question: Does social media feed our ‘fat relentless egos’ and therefore is ‘unselfing’ still possible in the age of the selfie?
What are rocks made out of? What colour is the stars? How do light thing float and heavy things sink?
Hi, I have always wondered what is a true friend? Thank you from Michael
To Iris (Philosopher) My question is: Is there a difference between health and beauty? Thank you, Josephine
You were an artist and a philosopher, but Plato thought the two were incompatible. However there’s rarely an artist who doesn’t try to tease out some philosophical conundrum. Philosopher as artist is rarer. Would you agree + why?
Are lies ever acceptable? Even for a good intention?
If philosophy as a subject didn’t exist, would the world have been a different place?
Do you feel that each & everyone of us actually was already born with a ‘best friend’? This best friend is our mind. I feel that I engage in silent (I hope) conversation with her more often. She doesn’t judge. Loves me even when I fall or doesn’t perform up to expectation. Secrets that we share are never at risk of public humiliation. I wonder why some people fear loneliness. Is it because that haven’t found that friend of theirs?
When we know plastic is bad for the environment why do we still use it? Penelope, Age 8
Being born in 1919, how do see and perceive the sexual revolution from a feminine point of view? Is something that feels good the good thing to do?
How can I be sure about what I believe?
If we have philosophy, do we still need religion?
I haven’t found my ‘passion’. I’m not sure I believe that everyone has one great passion in life, but I still like the thought of dedicating myself to something I find inspiring and fulfilling. How can I find that part of myself, and how, in this world of endless choice, can I trust that it’s the right thing once I have found it?
Dear Iris What is the line between a good and bad person? Can one bad action make you bad?
What is 21st Century truth?
Why do we get attached to certain people?
Why do we prefer eating together to eating alone?
I am eighty four years of age, would like some words of encouragement for my journey ahead!?
My aunt has Alzheimers. When I visit her I have to talk in the present tense – like a running commentary on how we currently are. She can’t remember where she comes from, what she ate that day, if she had family, Christmas or any concept like reading or going on holiday or love. Is she still Angela, my aunt? Is it possible to live with no memory or is it just existing? Does it matter that she feels loved?
What are the questions, what is the framework we can use to understand uncertainty?
Hello! Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask you questions. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about “self love” and I’d love to get your thoughts. Is true self love possible? How can we be kind to ourselves when we suffer the most from our own choices & flaws? Is it true that you can’t truly love someone until you love yourself – and does that apply to all relationships? Yours truly Josie
Dear Iris, Thank you for reading my question I have always wondered is luck real?
Thank you for reading this. One question I have wondered about since the birth of my baby sister. I have always wondered what goes on inside a baby’s head. Do you think they would be more or less selfish? Do you think they can remember the day before? Do they feel the same emotions that we do? Thanks again, Kate
How do I know I’m not hurting anybody?
25 Sept 2019 Question: What would Iris Murdoch have to say regarding the warring parties and the issue of public health?
Dear Iris, Is it important to give your characters redemption in their stories, however flawed they are.
Does the fact that we question everything make us human?
To what extent can we feel each others’ emotions + physical feelings? Joy, pain, etc.
Thank you for the opportunity to write to you. My question is around human nature – why do we seem to always take 2 steps forward and 1 step back? Can we ever achieve harmony and peace with ourselves and our planet? Thank you! Melissa
Why always I pretend to be brave?
I stopped believing in God when I was 12. The thing is, I miss God. I feel a deep sense of loss and heartache whenever I happen to sit in a quiet church. Is it possible to grieve for the loss of an entity in whose existence I no longer believe?
What, in your view is the least artificial thing about intelligence?
How can I feel sometimes lost in my life?
My question: when does lack of ego become self-indulgence?
If humans did evolve from apes what will humans eventually evolve into?
Is it better to be kind or be right? I used to think being right was the most important thing. But now I am not so sure.
Can our relationships with animals tell us anything about how to live?
I got married recently. Why? Or, I know my reasons, but it cost so much. I thoroughly enjoyed the day and I do not regret it, but I find it very difficult to justify the expense. Are there not better ways of spending money than on a single day? Why do we still do this?
How is our self worth formed? Do we see it through others or our own eyes (mind).
Hi there, I’ve always wondered, why do adults get more of a voice in society than children, if it doesn’t even effect them? Thanks, Ella
How do you know to trust yourself – is the you today doing right by the you tomorrow?
Dear Iris Murdoch, I love your novels and was interested to read about your philosophy. What do you think is our duty to each other in a time of social division and environmental breakdown? Copy
What is the definition of philosophy, and how can I incorporate it more into my everyday thoughts. My brother passed away a few years ago, and recently he’s returned frequently to my thoughts. I can’t help but wonder what our relationship could have become + changed as we grew. I’m curious how philosophy handles the ‘what if’ questions following loss of things. Maybe you can provide an answer/thoughts on this? Best wishes =)
I have been wondering, what is true happiness/eudaimonia that so many philosophers say we need to reach? And is it really worth it? So many people say they just want to be happy in life but is that what our end game should really be?
Why do clouds move? Why do birds wonder about the streets? Why does fabric ruffle against the wind? Why do people move! What is the source of motion? How should I keep my inner self motivated, moving in a world that is constantly in motion?
I would like to know if you think that embarrassment is just a state of mind? Are we only embarrassed because someone tells us we should be? Is embarrassment a choice? A matter of will power? Thanks, Yours Faithfully, Ben
A friend of mine cooked recipes from your wonderful novel The Sea, The Sea. Can we learn anything about philosophy by cooking eggs (badly?)
If we are all encouraged to think outside the box, what is wrong with what is in the box? and is it wrong to be in the box?
Why do we have Déjà vu?
Do you control your emotions or do your emotions control you?
Do our experiences result in our choices or do our choices shape our experiences? Is one more influential than the other?
Is it possible to value one person’s life over another’s?
Do our childhood experiences define our definition of “home” for life or does our definition constantly evolve?
Dear Iris, You wrote a lot about liberating and unselfing effects of art, and how good art can make you a better person. But – can you be someone who creates art (good art, hopefully) and be a bad person? (Picasso, Jimmy Page, Edmund Narraway?)
In what ways can philosophical studies, thought processes and/or understandings be useful and applied in making this crazy world a little less crazy.. what hope can philosophy bring! Thank you, Jessie xox
Oh, the times we are living in right now! I wonder so much what your opinions would be on polarisation of society. Why are we once again debating good and evil? Does it go around in circles? Must we hit rock bottom again before we can return to “loving attention”.
What’s a thought without the bondage of language? What if we can think without using words?
Can you hate someone you once loved? BTW hello ‘^o^’ hope you have a great day Thank you ˚o˚