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Mary Midgley (1919–2018)

Author of Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature

25+ Works 1,716 Members 16 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Mary Midgley was born Mary Scrutton in Dulwich, England on September 13, 1919. She was educated at Oxford University. While raising her sons, she reviewed novels and children's books for The New Statesman. She returned to teaching philosophy in 1965 at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne. She was show more a moral philosopher who wrote numerous books including Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature, Evolution as a Religion, Science as Salvation: A Modern Myth and Its Meaning, Science and Poetry, The Owl of Minerva, and What Is Philosophy For? She died on October 10, 2018 at the age of 99. (Bowker Author Biography) show less
Image credit: Mary Midgley in 2010.

Series

Works by Mary Midgley

The Myths We Live By (2003) 240 copies
Science and Poetry (2000) 153 copies
Animals and Why They Matter (1983) 92 copies
The Essential Mary Midgley (1984) 47 copies
Are You an Illusion? (2014) 40 copies

Associated Works

The Sovereignty of Good (1970) — Foreword, some editions — 539 copies
A Companion to Ethics (1991) — Contributor — 387 copies
In Defence of Animals (1985) — Contributor — 195 copies
Feminism and Families (1996) — Contributor — 26 copies
Minds, Brains and Machines (Mind matters series) (1989) — Foreword, some editions — 16 copies
Mad or Bad? (BCP Mind Matters S.) (1989) — Foreword, some editions — 8 copies
Art or Bunk? (BCP Mind Matters) (1989) — Foreword, some editions — 8 copies
Reasonable Care (Mind Matters) (1989) — Foreword, some editions — 6 copies
Creation, Environment and Ethics (2010) — Foreword — 4 copies
Can We Understand Animal Minds? (BCP Mind Matters) (1994) — Foreword, some editions — 4 copies

Tagged

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Midgley, Mary
Legal name
Midgley, Mary Beatrice
Other names
Scrutton, Mary (birth name)
Birthdate
1919-09-13
Date of death
2018-10-10
Gender
female
Nationality
UK
Birthplace
Dulwich, London, England, UK
Place of death
Jesmond, Tyne and Wear, England, UK
Places of residence
Greenford, London, England, UK
Education
University of Oxford (Somerville College)
Downe House School
Occupations
philosopher
moral philosopher
professor
Relationships
Murdoch, Iris (friend)
Midgley, Geoffrey (husband)
Organizations
University of Newcastle Upon Tyne
Awards and honors
Philosophy Now Award (2011)
Short biography
Mary Midgley, née Scrutton, was born in London, the daughter of a clergyman who served as a Cambridge University chaplain. She was educated at Downe House School, where she developed a love of philosophy and classics.
She attended Oxford University and graduated with first-class honors.
After graduation, she worked for the civil service, and as a teacher at Downe School and Bedford School. In 1947, she returned to Oxford for graduate studies, and then taught in the Philosophy Department of Reading University. In 1950, she married Geoffrey Midgley, with whom she had three children, and lived in Newcastle. She joined the Philosophy Department at Newcastle University in 1962, and taught there until she retired. She is the author of more than 15 books on science, ethics, and animal rights, including Beast and Man (1978), Evolution as a Religion (1985), Science as Salvation (1992) and Science and Poetry (2001). Her autobiography, The Owl of Minerva, was published in 2005.

Members

Reviews

Read the first four chapters, some from the original English version and some from the Arabic version.
 
Flagged
AmmarAlyousfi | 3 other reviews | Aug 12, 2023 |
I'd give her more stars but she's mostly rebutting the most extreme reductionism. I was hoping for something more nuanced. This seems dated.
 
Flagged
Cr00 | Apr 1, 2023 |
Midgley is an important English philosopher.
 
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mykl-s | 1 other review | Mar 24, 2023 |
Well worth reading to get a sense of why our current culture places so much "faith" in science. Modern science comes out of a tradition of looking for the spiritual in the organic world. The problem with many who have undying faith in science and subscribe to scientism is that many adherents assume a reductionist and trascendent trajectory that reifies the mind and intellect which dismisses our understanding of the biological: humans, like all species and integrated organisms that are not split into body, mind, spirit. Thus, the aspirations of many adherents to scientism that eventually humans will be evolve into a transcendent mind that is disembodied that uses the universe as its sole playground for shaping to its will is misguided from both a biological point of view and ethical point of view. It assumes that humans have more value than anything else in the universe. Midgely questions this ethic as do I.… (more)
 
Flagged
Neil_Luvs_Books | Feb 23, 2022 |

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Statistics

Works
25
Also by
12
Members
1,716
Popularity
#14,972
Rating
½ 3.7
Reviews
16
ISBNs
133
Languages
5
Favorited
1

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