In short, for Gray, humanism is nothing more than "a secular religion thrown together from decaying scraps of Christian myth". Gray champions James Lovelock's view of the Earth as a self-regulating system whose behaviour resembles, in some ways, that of an organism. The Gaia hypothesis is the backdrop to Gray's apparently relentless pessimism about the fate of humankind. What it teaches us is that this self-regulating system has no need of humanity, does not exist for the sake of humanity, and will regulate itself in ignorance of humanity's fate.
Straw Dogs can be usefully compared with Mary Midgely's excellent Science and Poetry since both take off from the view of man as animal while sharing similar views about the cultural role of philosophy. Both encourage us to overcome the Platonic-Cartesian-Kantian philosophical tradition while stressing the importance of Gaia in emphasising our essential continuity with the physical and natural world. For Gray, humans "think they are free, conscious beings, when in truth they are deluded animals". Straw Dogs could have been made to stretch for 500 large pages. Instead you get 200 small pages of gold; simple, concise, riveting.--Larry Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A very thought provoking book about human capabilities and futures. A antidote to those philosophers who seem to have forgotten that Darwin and Freud ever existed. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ray137
Weird cover. Otherwise a sane if rather pessimistic book. The human race is irredeemable. His arguments are not to be taken without challenging them or sometimes dismissing them,... Read morePublished 4 months ago by M. Hayward
Hard to review a text so intellectually above my own level - it opened my eyes, made me think & reinforced some instinctually negative views I already held. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Philip Goddard
Whilst an interesting read I find it difficult to see what this contributes over and above Camus' deeper analysis of the absurd in The Myth of Sisyphus. Read morePublished 7 months ago by B. Jason
John Gray has written what I believe to be a devastating critique of secular humanism. I'll let him speak for himself `"Humanism is not science, but religion - the post-Christian... Read morePublished 10 months ago by DJRodger
brilliant insight into human psyche. Uplifting and cerebral.Published 11 months ago by Brontosaurus Theorem
An excellent and perceptive critique of humanist individualism. If reality is devoid of divinity it makes no sense to ascribe value, meaning or significance to anything, including... Read morePublished 14 months ago by M. Smith
Normally when I read reviews on book covers I think they are silly, hyperbolic or mis-quoted. For example I read on one spy book that it was 'the thinking man's Le Carre',... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Cletus