The Personal World

John Macmurray on Self and Society

Edited by Philip Conford; Foreword by Tony Blair

Out of print

Quick Look

A selection of inspirational writings from one of the greatest philosophers of the twentieth century.

234 x 156 mm
Floris Books
Philosophy of Human Life
224 pages
Publication date:
01 Sep 1996


John Macmurray's aims were radical, ambitious and challenging to reexamine the western philosophical tradition and call into question both its origins and inheritance.

For Macmurray, western thought remains trapped in conventions which have ceased to have meaning. He argued that we must begin from the living reality of being a Person in the world, maintaining that the Self exists through action and mutuality, and not as an isolated observer.
His greatest contribution to modern thinking has been to provide a new framework for understanding personal experience and development in an essentially interconnected world of relationships. His ideas have had an important influence on political thought, ethics and education, as well as in theology and psychology.

This selection from his writings, with an introduction and commentary, reveals the work of this great thinker in all its clarity, depth and inspirational quality.

John Macmurray (1891-1976) was Professor of Moral Philosophy at Edinburgh University for many years, and author of an acclaimed series of Gifford lectures entitled The Form of the Personal, which represents the clearest statement of his ideas and for many his highest achievement. His Freedom in the Modern World, originally published in 1932, remains an enduring work of twentieth century ethics.


'For philosophy to be at all relevant, it must either increase an understanding of the world or our ability to change it. At best it can do both. This is a test John Macmurray passes with flying colours. I hope more people find him.'
-- Rt. Hon Tony Blair, MP


Dr Philip Conford took degrees in philosophy and literature at the University of East Anglia, and teaches English at Chichester College of Arts, Science and Technology. He has also edited The Organic Tradition and A Future for the Land.

You can also visit the author's own website at


Also available:
John Macmurray: A Biography by John E. Costello

Also available by Philip Conford:
The Origins of the Organic Movement

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