Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature

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Psychology Press, 2002 - Philosophy - 365 pages
6 Reviews
Philosophers have traditionally concentrated on the qualities that make human beings different from other species. In Beast and Man Mary Midgley, one of our foremost intellectuals, stresses continuities. What makes people tick? Largely, she asserts, the same things as animals. She tells us humans are rather more like other animals than we previously allowed ourselves to believe, and reminds us just how primitive we are in comparison to the sophistication of many animals. A veritable classic for our age, Beast and Man has helped change the way we think about ourselves and the world in which we live.
 

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Review: Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature

User Review  - Goodreads

Very interesting ideas. Well put. Read full review

Review: Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature

User Review  - Goodreads

Five stars because she writes so well, without losing her philosophical edge. There are some parts where Midgley seemed to focused on her own solution to really appreciate the complexity of the ... Read full review

Contents

Have We a Nature?
xlii
What We Can Ask of Our Concepts
10
Could People Be Blank Paper?
15
Animals and the Problem of Evil
21
Beasts Within
32
Aristotelian and Kantian Beasts
39
Instinct Nature and Purpose
46
What Is The Nature of a Species?
52
On Using Our Knowledge
173
Our Nature Is a Whole
177
We are no Tourists Here
183
The Marks of Man
190
Reason and Language
198
Language and Morality
205
What Goes with Language? Other Structural Properties
213
Why the Machine Model Cannot Work
221

The Meaning of Biological Determinism
57
Reasoning from Purpose
66
Art and Science in Psychology
78
The Exaltation of the Gene
84
The Need for the Long Perspective
88
The Absurdity of Forgetting the Individual
91
On Taking Motives Seriously
98
What Describing Is
103
Communication and Consciousness
106
Altruism and Egoism
108
The Use and Misuse of Egoism
112
How to Misunderstand Altruism
116
The Mystery of the Unconscious Altruist
121
How to Make the Whole Study of Motives Impossible
125
Signposts
134
Survival Is Not Enough
143
Understanding the Metaphor of Height
149
Evolution and Practical Thinking
155
Why Neurology Cannot Replace Moral Philosophy
159
Facts and Values
166
Understanding What Language Does
227
Understanding What Expressive Movements Do
231
On Being Animal as Well as Rational
240
Conflict and Integration
248
The Human Solution
252
The Shared Solution
260
Why We Need a Culture
270
Culture as Language
278
The Prehuman Roots of Culture in Habit and Symbolism
291
The Place of Conventional Symbols
298
The Common Hetitage
304
Families and Freedom
311
Why Intelligence Does Not Replace Instinct
316
What Is Anthropomorphism?
328
The Egoists Blind Alley
335
Living in the Whole World
341
BIBLIOGRAPHY
348
INDEX
354
Copyright

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References to this book

The Ecological Self
Freya Mathews
No preview available - 1994
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About the author (2002)

Mary Midgley (1919-). A philosopher with a special interest in ethics, human nature, and science, Mary Midgley has a widespread international following for her work.

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