Owl of Minerva: A Memoir

Owl of Minerva: A Memoir

by Mary Midgley
     
 

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One of the UK’s foremost living 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

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Overview

One of the UK’s foremost living 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'Not only a superbly lively account of being educated in the first half of the twentieth century, but a portrait of one of the most utterly sensible, accessible and humane philosophers of our age.' - Rowan Williams (Archbishop), Times Literary Supplement

'Her memoir is a warm and reassuring account of the value of civilised life and of the confidence it can provide.' - The Scotsman

'This memoir contains humour as well as wit and is a joy to read.' - The Tablet

'A warm and humorous memoir by one of the UKs leading moral philosophers. Many young students sense well enough that in the present darkness, articulate and well-informed understanding of their scientific civilization, its values and politics is necessary. They need their Midgleys.' - Simon Blackburn, The New Scientist

'Insightful and enjoyable' TPM Online

The Sunday Times
Merely as anthologies of contemporary folly, Midlgey's books are essential reading ... we have Mary Midgley among us. We should pay attention and be grateful.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780415371391
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
05/15/2007
Edition description:
New
Pages:
232
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
'Not only a superbly lively account of being educated in the first half of the twentieth century, but a portrait of one of the most utterly sensible, accessible and humane philosophers of our age.' - Rowan Williams (Archbishop), Times Literary Supplement

'Her memoir is a warm and reassuring account of the value of civilised life and of the confidence it can provide.' - The Scotsman

'This memoir contains humour as well as wit and is a joy to read.' - The Tablet

'A warm and humorous memoir by one of the UKs leading moral philosophers. Many young students sense well enough that in the present darkness, articulate and well-informed understanding of their scientific civilization, its values and politics is necessary. They need their Midgleys.' - Simon Blackburn, The New Scientist

'Insightful and enjoyable' TPM Online

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