WorldCat Identities

Midgley, Mary 1919-

Works: 66 works in 582 publications in 8 languages and 23,540 library holdings
Genres: Biography 
Roles: Author, Honoree
Classifications: BJ1012, 170
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by Mary Midgley
Beast and man : the roots of human nature by Mary Midgley( Book )

75 editions published between 1960 and 2010 in English and Undetermined and held by 1,806 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Philosophers have traditionally concentrated on the qualities that make human beings different from other species. In "Beast and Man" Mary Midgley 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
Animals and why they matter by Mary Midgley( Book )

26 editions published between 1983 and 2007 in English and held by 1,380 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Evolution as a religion : strange hopes and stranger fears by Mary Midgley( Book )

34 editions published between 1985 and 2006 in 3 languages and held by 1,147 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This work exposes the illogical logic of poor doctrines that shelter themselves behind the prestige of science. Midgley examines how science comes to be used as a substitute for religion and points out how badly that role distorts it
Wickedness : a philosophical essay by Mary Midgley( Book )

57 editions published between 1984 and 2015 in 4 languages and held by 1,073 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

To look into the darkness of the human soul is a frightening venture, yet here Mary Midgley does so with her customary brilliance and clarity - to read Wickedness is to understand her reputation as one of the great moral philosophers
The ethical primate : humans, freedom, and morality by Mary Midgley( Book )

33 editions published between 1994 and 1998 in English and Dutch and held by 846 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Human morality arises out of human freedom: we are uniquely free beings in that we are aware of our conflicts of motive. But those conflicts and our capacity to resolve them are part of our natural inheritance. Although our selves are in many ways divided, we share the difficult project of wholeness with other organisms. What matters for our freedom is the recognition of our genuine agency, our slight but nevertheless real power to grasp and arbitrate our inner conflicts
Heart and mind : the varieties of moral experience by Mary Midgley( Book )

58 editions published between 1981 and 2004 in English and Undetermined and held by 758 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

How do we make moral choices? Where does our sense of right and wrong come from? Mary Midgley offers us an optimistic and holistic view of what it means to be human, acknowledging the complex interconnections of emotion and intellect while presenting us with the freedom to be ourselves
Science as salvation : a modern myth and its meaning by Mary Midgley( Book )

38 editions published between 1992 and 2004 in English and Undetermined and held by 750 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Mary Midgley in this book discusses the high spiritual ambitions which tend to gather around the notion of science, and, in particular, some very odd recent expressions of them. When everyone viewed the world as God's creation, there was no problem about the element of worship involved in studying it, nor about science's function in mapping people's lives. But now these things have grown puzzling. Officially, science claims only the modest function of establishing facts. Yet people still hope for something much vaster and grander from it--the myths by which to shape and support life in an increasingly confusing age. Even in the past, the myths surrounding science were often strange. This book discusses Francis Bacon's bizarre vision of a 'masculine birth of time', in which the seventeenth-century scientists saw themselves as sexual victors over a prostrate Mother Nature. Today, some scientists are again holding up the prize of the conquest of nature, this time through rocketry, genetic engineering and intelligent computers. These will dominate the entire universe and make our species effectively immortal. They claim, too, that human intelligence played an essential part in bringing the universe into existence in the first place. Science as Salvation discusses the function and meaning of such fantasies, which project onto a cosmic scale the biological drama considered in the author's earlier Evolution as a Religion. Taking them seriously as symptoms of a genuine myth-hunger, it suggests that the proper function of science may need to include wider perspectives which would make it plain that such desperate, compensatory dramas are unnecessary
Can't we make moral judgements? by Mary Midgley( Book )

13 editions published between 1991 and 1999 in English and Undetermined and held by 701 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this lively and approachable book, moral philosopher Mary Midgley turns a spotlight on the fashionable view that we no longer need or use moral judgements. She shows how the question of whether or not we can make moral judgements must inevitably affect our attitudes to events that occur in our daily lives as she suggests that this mistrust of moral judgements may be making life even harder for us than it needs to be
Wisdom, information, and wonder : what is knowledge for? by Mary Midgley( Book )

28 editions published between 1989 and 2002 in English and held by 648 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In this book one of Britain's leading popular philosophers tackles a question that is at the root of our civilization: What is knowledge for?
Women's choices : philosophical problems facing feminism by Mary Midgley( Book )

14 editions published between 1983 and 1990 in 3 languages and held by 604 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Science and poetry by Mary Midgley( Book )

29 editions published between 2000 and 2009 in English and held by 494 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

This work is an investigation of why and how science has so powerfully shaped the way we understand ourselves, our behaviour towards others and our place in the world
Utopias, dolphins, and computers : problems in philosophical plumbing by Mary Midgley( Book )

27 editions published between 1994 and 2015 in 3 languages and held by 459 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Why do the big philosophical questions so often strike us as far-fetched and little to do with everyday life? Mary Midgley shows that there is a need for philosophy in the real world
The solitary self : Darwin and the selfish gene by Mary Midgley( Book )

17 editions published between 2010 and 2013 in English and held by 449 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Renowned philosopher Mary Midgley explores the nature of our moral constitution to challenge the view that reduces human motivation to self-interest. Midgley argues cogently and convincingly that simple, one-sided accounts of human motives, such as the 'selfish gene' tendency in recent neo-Darwinian thought, may be illuminating but are always unrealistic. Such neatness, she shows, cannot be imposed on human psychology. She returns to Darwin's original writings to show how the reductive individualism which is now presented as Darwinism does not derive from Darwin but from a wider, Hobbesian tradition in Enlightenment thinking. She reveals the selfish gene hypothesis as a cultural accretion that is just not seen in nature. Heroic independence is not a realistic aim for Homo sapiens. We are, as Darwin saw, earthly organisms, framed to interact constantly with one another and with the complex ecosystems of which we are a tiny part. For us, bonds are not just restraints but also lifelines -- Product Description
The essential Mary Midgley by Mary Midgley( Book )

10 editions published between 2005 and 2007 in English and held by 265 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"This anthology includes carefully chosen selections from Mary Midgley's selling books, including Wickedness, Beast and Man, Science and Poetry and The Myths We Live By. It provides insight into questions she has returned to again and again in her renowned prose, from the roots of human nature, reason and imagination to the myths of science and the importance of holism in thinking about science and the environment."--Jacket
Are you an illusion? by Mary Midgley( Book )

7 editions published in 2014 in English and held by 140 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Renowned philosopher Mary Midgley explores the remarkable gap that has opened up between our own understanding of our sense of our self and today's scientific orthodoxy that claims the self to be nothing more than an elaborate illusion. Bringing her formidable acuity and analytic skills to bear, she exposes some very odd claims and muddled thinking on the part of cognitive scientists and psychologists when it comes to talk about the self. Well-known philosophical problems in causality, subjectivity, empiricism, free will and determinism are shown to have been glossed over by scientists claiming that the self is no more than a jumble of brain-cells. Midgley argues powerfully and persuasively that the rich variety of our imaginative life cannot be contained in the narrow bounds of a highly puritanical materialism that equates brain and self. The denial of the self has been sustained by the belief that physical science requires it, but there is not just one such pattern of thought but many others which all help to explain the different kinds of problems that arise in our life, argues Midgley. Physics' amazing contemporary successes spring from attacking problems that arise within physics, not from outside. It is no more sensible to give a physical answer to a moral problem than it is to give political answers to physical ones. 'Are you an Illusion?' is an impassioned defence of the importance of our own experiences - the subjective sources of thought - which are every bit as necessary for the world as the objective ones such as brain cells. -- Provided by publisher
Earthy realism : the meaning of Gaia( Book )

5 editions published in 2007 in English and held by 76 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Science and the self : animals, evolution, and ethics : essays in honour of Mary Midgley by Ian James Kidd( Book )

6 editions published between 2015 and 2016 in English and held by 54 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Mary Midgley is one of the most important moral philosophers working today. Over the last thirty years, her writings have informed debates concerning animals, the environment and evolutionary theory. The invited essays in this volume offer critical reflections upon Midgley's work and further developments of her ideas. The contributors include many of the leading commentators on her work, including distinguished figures from the disciplines of philosophy, biology, and ethology. The range of topics includes the moral status of animals, the concept of wickedness, science and mythology, Midgley's
Gaia : the next big idea by Mary Midgley( Book )

5 editions published in 2001 in English and held by 45 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Biological and cultural evolution by Mary Midgley( Book )

5 editions published in 1984 in English and held by 25 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The owl of Minerva : a memoir by Mary Midgley( Book )

6 editions published between 2005 and 2007 in English and held by 7 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

One of the UK's foremost moral philosophers, Mary Midgley recounts her remarkable story in this elegiac and moving account of friendships found and lost, bitter philosophical battles and of a profound love of teaching. In spite of her many books and public profile, little is known about Mary's life. Part of a famous generation of women philosophers that includes Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Warnock and Iris Murdoch, Midgley tells us in vivid and humorous fashion how they cut a swathe through the arid landscape of 1950s British Philosophy, writing and arguing about the grand themes of character, beauty and the meaning of rudeness. The mother of three children, her journey is one of a woman, who during the 1950s and 1960s was fighting to combine a professional career with raising a family. In startling contrast to many of the academic stars of her generation, we learn that Midgley nearly became a novelist and started writing philosophy only when in her fifties, suggesting that Minerva's owl really does fly at dusk.; Charting the highs and lows of philosophy and academia in Britain, this publication sheds light on Mary's close friends, her moral philosophy and her meetings with major philosophers, including Wittgenstein and Isaiah Berlin
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Audience level: 0.27 (from 0.06 for The ethica ... to 0.98 for Murdoch an ...)

Animals and why they matter
Alternative Names
Mary Midgley britische Philosophin

Mary Midgley Brits filosofe

Mary Midgley filosofa inglese

Midgley, Mary

Midgley, Mary Beatrice 1919-

Миджли, Мэри

מרי מידג'לי

ミッジリー, M


English (476)

Spanish (3)

Chinese (2)

Japanese (2)

German (1)

Persian (1)


Dutch (1)

Animals and why they matterEvolution as a religion : strange hopes and stranger fearsWickedness : a philosophical essayThe ethical primate : humans, freedom, and moralityHeart and mind : the varieties of moral experienceScience as salvation : a modern myth and its meaningCan't we make moral judgements?Wisdom, information, and wonder : what is knowledge for?