We’re looking for a young Irish philosopher to design our 10th postcard! Work alone or in a ‘quartet’ to design a postcard on any aspect of Iris Murdoch’s work on ethics or what is termed ‘moral vision'. The winning design will receive the ‘Iris Murdoch Prize’ at the Irish Young Philosopher’s Awards Festival on 15th May 2019 at UCD, Dublin.

What is ‘moral vision’?


Iris Murdoch suggests that art can play a role in our ethical lives and can help us to see the nature of goodness.

She thinks that a good person will look carefully, justly and lovingly at the people and things they encounter in their lives and will not let prejudice or fantasy obscure their vision . She thinks that encounters with natural beauty can help uncloud our vision of others and the world.

Murdoch also thinks that we can use our imagination to help us to see reality more clearly and that art has a special role to play in helping us see and make sense of the world around us. She thinks that appreciating art with others has an ethical significance.

Some questions you might consider when designing your project:

  • Can art (novels, paintings, films, sculpture) make us a better person?
  • If we read about a good or a courageous character in a book, does it help us to appreciate people who are good and courageous in real life?
  • Does art help us to experience things beyond ourselves or things we may not have experienced?
  • Can art help us to understand another person’s ethical view?
  • Do the same abilities that we require to appreciate art help us to appreciate other people?

A quote from Iris Murdoch:


"Art and morality are, with certain provisos...one. Their essence is the same. The essence of both of them is love. Love is the perception of individuals. Love is the extremely difficult realisation that something other than oneself is real. Love, and so art and morals, is the discovery of reality". 

Iris Murdoch, The Sublime and the Good


Visit the IYPA website to register to take part and to find learning resources – including teacher’s notes
The Irish Young Philosopher Awards