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VINE VOICEon 11 May 2003
I find the series title a bit off-putting. It suggests the opposite to what it says. Don't be misled. There is nothing patronising or naff about this book. It is the intellectual autobiography (more or less) of a very intelligent person who, amongst other things, took the leading role in setting up and running the Human Embriology Authority. Mary Warnock takes us through her own growing up in school, university and war, and thus gives the personal context in which her views developed. She covers not only in vitro fertilisation, but experiments on embryos, abortion, euthanasia, the moral upbringing of children, human rights and post-modernism. She may be less than 100% in favour of the latter. Post-modernists sometimes get close to arguing that any views on anything are of equal worth - but here is a person who believes that the quality of argument really matters: we should not allow ourselves to be conned by superficial assertions.

I found everything the author had to say interesting and stimulating. Towards the end of the book, though, I found her views on children beginning to make me think of her as Nanny Warnock [editing a couple of years later, and having re-read the work, I'm not really sure why I thought this], and her views on whether we should extend "rights" to animals perhaps less like argument and more like assertion of a characteristically determined kind. But what's the point in reading only what you agree with?

It is exquisitely written in economical, elegant English prose. I found the opening chapter, the most narrative, especially compelling. Worth reading from this point of view alone.

I'm surprised there aren't a lot of reviews for this pleasurable and affecting work already. Indeed, having reread it eight years on from my first review, I find I like it the more
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on 22 January 2015
I am new to philosophy and found this book easy to read, but also a good, intelligent read which has really helped me in planning my assignments and thinking philosophically.

I highly recommend this book
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on 3 June 2013
Was interested in reading about this as the old Dear's still alive in the HoL but it really doesn't open many doors. The relationship between the law and ethics is fairly obvious.
Though she did have a good "shout" in the HoL's last week - the brightest woman of her generation
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on 21 February 2015
Happy with this purchase
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on 30 May 2015
visionary
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on 2 September 2013
This book is an interesting autobiography of a sort but for an intelligent guide to ethics one cannot do better than the Bible for indeed God can be said to have laid down the ethical dimensions of life in and before the Ten Commandments were given by God to Moses,and for all mankind for Eternity. However let me mention just one point where Mary Warnock gets it totally wrong.(As I debated with her some years ago on a television program by the BBC about the unborn,and when my concerns about abortion were raised by me etc she failed utterly to answer me on some critical issues regarding in general the safety of the unborn and subsequently all my fears of the slippery slope involved were confirmed.And she became and was the chief Architect of that slippery slope so I confess a certain amount of bias on my part) However she outlines philosophies often without comment.A case in point is logical Positivism as promulgated by the late A J Ayer in his book "Language truth and Logic".I had the pleasure of his company at a philosophy lecture given by him at York University which sadly was only a few weeks before his death..At the end of the lecture he asked if there were any questions and I took the opportunity to say something which was this."The problem I have Mr Ayer is that the Principle of Verification you suggest cannot itself be verified so the whole edifice of your philosophy fails at the first hurdle".
He sadly replied "Yes,this I know" and the meeting broke up at this point.I could have cried for the man in his evident despair.Mary Warnock says nothing of this evident failure of a whole philosophical system and so it is in many other places so therefore as a pleasant wander down the halls of philosophical investigation it fulfills that sort of requirement and that very well.One need only look at the sad history of the Embryo Authority of which Mary Warnock was Head of to see the practical outworking of what Warnock deems to be ethics. For solid thinking, in terms of reviewing this book,I would venture saying one has to go elsewhere.Dust of Death
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on 23 June 2016
Good.
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on 31 October 2010
this was a good quality product which was received in good time. Packaged well and product was not displaying any damage
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