The Essential Mary Midgley Hardcover – 27 May 2005
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'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
About the Author
Mary Midgely is a moral philosopher and the author of many books, most recently The Myths We Live By.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mary Midgley is probably the most sane philosopher writing today. Between the passion of Peter Singer and the academic prop-forwardry of Colin McGinn, Mary writes that while she and her sons became vegetarians, her husband, Geoff, remained steadfastly carnivorous, and that she remains of the view that preventing animals suffering is more important than not eating them. A wonderfully Aristotelian view on a modern issue.
The book is also very amusing with a beautiful mix of historical stories, bits of academic nonsense and hard core philosophy, as well as fascinating insights onto her comrades, Philippa Foot, Mary Warnock,Iris Murdoch and the mysterious semi-mystic near genius, Elizabeth Anscombe. In amongst the strange people, Mary is an island of compassionate sanity, always calling on her real experience - of babies, boys and animals (which she doesn't think are significantly different) - and finding peculiar the longings of those who imbue experience they haven't had with deep significance. Her comments on Iris Murdoch's longing for an incestuous relationship with her brother carry the quizzical eyebrow raised insight of anyone who has a sibling of a different sex, those of us with sisters (or brothers) find this kind of thing simply incomprehensible!
Mary has written a wonderful book here. Her writings are always lucid and peppered with sharp and challenging metaphors and examples, but here she has excelled herself.Read more ›
I would recommend it.