The Essential Mary Midgley

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Psychology Press, 2005 - Philosophy - 413 pages
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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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Contents

Part One The Roots of Human Nature
21
Part Two Philosophizing out in the World
143
Wisdom and Contemplation
153
The Withdrawal of Moral Philosophy
163
Escaping from Solitude
184
The Human Heart and Other Organs
198
On Trying Out Ones New Sword on a Chance Wayfarer
218
Part Three The Myths of Science
225
Part Four Reason and Imagination
303
The Sources of Thought
306
The Quest for Permanence
319
Putting Our Selves Together Again
330
A Plague on Both Their Houses
340
Putting it All Together
347
Individualism and the Concept of Gaia
349
The Role of Wonder
359

Evolutionary Dramas
239
The Irresistible Escalator
246
The Service of Self and the Service of Kali
257
Biotechnology and the Yuk Factor
269
The Supernatural Engineer
281
The Remarkable Masculine Birth Of Time
290
Why there is Such a Thing as Society
367
The Unity of Life
373
Notes
379
Bibliography
400
Index
405
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About the author (2005)

Mary Midgely (1919-2018)was a moral philosopher and the author of many books, most recently The Myths We Live By.

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