The Essential Mary Midgley

The Essential Mary Midgley

Paperback

Edited by David Midgley, Foreword by James Lovelock

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  • Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
  • Format: Paperback | 424 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 212mm x 32mm | 540g
  • Publication date: 10 September 2005
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0415346428
  • ISBN 13: 9780415346429
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 308,637

Product description

Feared and admired in equal measure, Mary Midgley has carefully yet profoundly challenged many of the scientific and moral orthodoxies of the twentieth century. The Essential Mary Midgley collects for the first time the very best of this famous philosopher's work, described by the Financial Times as 'common sense philosophy of the highest order'. This unrivalled introduction to a great philosopher and brilliant writer incorporates carefully selected excerpts from Mary Midgley's bestselling books, including Wickedness, Beast and Man, Science and Poetry, and The Myths We Live By. With a specially written foreword by James Lovelock, this classic text presents a superb and eminently readable insight into questions she has returned to time and again in her renowned sharp prose. This anthology discusses major topics, such as the roots of human nature, reason and imagination, the myths of science and the importance of holism in thinking about science and the environment.

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Author information

Mary Midgely is a moral philosopher and the author of many books, most recently The Myths We Live By.

Review quote

'She has, perhaps, the sharpest perception of any living thinker of the dangerous extremism that lurks behind so much contemporary scientistic discourse.' - Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times 'One of the sharpest critical pens in the West.' - Times Literary Supplement 'The value of Mary's thinking is that she questions the assumptions and investigates what she calls 'philosophical plumbing' and the role of different ideas in helping map our world...Having the whole of Mary's thinking summarised in one volume is enormously valuable, enabling the reader to access the essence of her approach.' - The Science and Medical Network Review

Table of contents

Acknowledgements Foreword Introduction Part 1: The Roots of Human Nature (From Beast and Man) 1. Have We A Nature? 2. Animals And The Problem Of Evil 3. Speech And Other Excellences (From Wickedness) 4. The Problem Of Natural Evil 5. The Elusiveness Of Responsibility 6. Selves And Shadows (From Animals and Why They Matter) 7. Emotion, Emotiveness and Sentimentality 8. Equality and Outer Darkness (From Utopias, Dolphins and Computers) 9. Is a Dolphin a Person? Part 2: Philosophizing Out in the World (From Utopias, Dolphins and Computers) 1. Philosophical Plumbing (From Wisdom, Information and Wonder) 2. Wisdom And Contemplation 3. The Withdrawal Of Moral Philosophy 4. Escaping from Solitude (From Heart and Mind) 5. The Human Heart and Other Organs 6. On Trying Out One's New Sword on a Chance Wayfarer Part 3: The Myths of Science (From Science as Salvation) 1. Salvation And The Academics (From Evolution as a Religion) 2. Evolutionary Dramas 3. The Irresistible Escalator 4. The Service of Self and the Service of Kali (From The Myths we Live By) 5. Biotechnology and the Yuk Factor (From Science as Salvation) 6. The Remarkable Masculine Birth Of Time Part 4: Reason and Imagination (From Science and Poetry) 1. The Sources Of Thought 2. Atomistic Visions: The Quest For Permanence 3. Putting Our Selves Together Again 4. A Plague On Both Their Houses Part 5: Gaian Thinking: Putting it All Together (From Science and Poetry) 1. Individualism and the concept of Gaia 2. Why There Is Such A Thing As Society 3. Gods and goddesses: the role of wonder (From Beast and Man) 4. The Unity Of Life Bibliography Notes Index