Myths We Live By / Edition 1

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Overview

Britain's foremost living philosopher argues that myth, far from being in opposition to, is actually part and parcel of science. According to Midgley, myths are neither lies nor stories, but a network of powerful symbols that suggest particular ways of interpreting the world. In this interpretation she demolishes three of our most potent myths: the myth of the social contract, the myth of progress, and the myth of science.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'For those who haven't yet read Midgley, these essays are an excellent place to start.' - Jon Turney, The Guardian

'An elegant and sane little book. Unusually for a philosopher, Midgley has a superb ear for the use and misuse of language.' - Edward Skidelsky, New Statesman

'She has, perhaps, the sharpest perception of any living thinker of the dangerous extremism that lurks behind so much contemporary scientistic discourse ... Merely as anthologies of contemporary folly, Midgley's books are essential reading ... we have Mary Midgley among us. We should pay attention and be grateful.' - Brian Appleyard, The Sunday Times

'[Mary Midgley's] latest book is full of good sense and illumination on many topics ... Midgley's pathbreaking efforts should be warmly welcomed.' - The Philosopher's Magazine

'Mary's voice, sane, clear and brooking no nonsense, speaks crisply from every page, debunking scientific and non-scientific pretensions alike. A chapter each evening will help me keep sane.' - The Sunday Times

'Christian readers will be sympathetic and find much material for helpful reflection on the topics chosen.' - The Gospel and Our Culture Network

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415309066
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 6/24/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Mary Midgley is a moral philosopher and the author of many books including Wickedness, Evolution as a Religion, Beast and Man and Science and Poetry. All are published in Routledge Classics.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
1 How myths work 1
2 Our place in the world 7
3 Progress, science and modernity 13
4 Thought has many forms 21
5 The aims of reduction 29
6 Dualistic dilemmas 36
7 Motives, materialism and megalomania 43
8 What action is 47
9 Tidying the inner scene: why memes? 56
10 The sleep of reason produces monsters 61
11 Getting rid of the ego 68
12 Cultural evolution? 75
13 Selecting the selectors 82
14 Is reason sex-linked? 88
15 The journey from freedom to desolation 94
16 Biotechnology and the yuk factor 102
17 The new alchemy 108
18 The supernatural engineer 114
19 Heaven and earth, an awkward history 122
20 Science looks both ways 128
21 Are you an animal? 135
22 Problems about parsimony 142
23 Denying animal consciousness 146
24 Beasts versus the biosphere? 153
25 Some practical dilemmas 158
26 Problems of living with otherness 163
27 Changing ideas of wildness 169
Notes 176
Index 185
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