"AN URGENTLY NEEDED BRIDGE BETWEEN SCIENCE AND PHILOSOPHY": WONDERFUL COLLECTION OF EIGHT FIRST EDITION BOOKS BY PHILOSOPHER MARY MIDGLEY
MIDGLEY, Mary. Collection of eight first editions. [Beast and Man. The Roots of Human Nature. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, 1978. WITH: Heart and Mind. The Varieties of Moral Experience. Brighton, Sussex: The Harvester Press, 1981. WITH: Animals and Why They Matter. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1983. WITH: Evolution as a Religion. Strange Hopes and Stranger Fears. London and New York: Methuen, 1985. WITH: Science as Salvation. A Modern Myth and its Meaning. London and New York: Routledge, 1992. WITH: The Ethical Primate. Humans, Freedom and Morality. London and New York: Routledge, 1994. WITH: Utopias, Dolphins and Computers. Problems of Philosophical Plumbing. London and New York: Routledge, 1996. WITH: The Myths We Live By. London and New York: Routledge, 2003.]. London and New York: Cornell University Press, Harvester Press, University of Georgia Press, Methuen, Routledge, 1978-2003. Octavo, original cloth and paper boards, original dust jackets. $2200.
Collection of eight first editions by British philosopher Mary Midgley, known for her focus on nature, evolution, and animal nature of human beings, all in original dust jackets.
This collection offers a survey of Mary Midgley's philosophical investigations between 1978 and 2003—some of the most active years of her scholarly career—including her first book, Beast and Man. Midgley argued for an expansive view of both philosophy and humanity, believing that philosophy was a tool humans could use to understand and fix their environments physically, socially, and ethically.
Beast and Man (1978): The first of Midgley's 18 books, Beast and Man explores the connection between morality and human nature—particularly in light of humankind's descent from its ape ancestors. Here, she argues that humans are primates and thus animals. In her view, animal behavior is wrongly characterized as primitive, when in fact it is often driven by the same complex needs and desires as human behavior.
Heart and Mind (1981): In Heart and Mind, Midgley attacks the assumed dichotomy between sentiment and reason. She contends that head and heart function as part of a single human process, controlling, in particular, ethics. This became one of the most common themes in Midgley's philosophical worldview: the idea that reductionism and scientism were flattening and that a more inclusive view should be taken in questions of philosophy.
Animals and Why They Matter (1983): Expanding on some of the ideas first addressed in Beast and Man, Animals and Why They Matter focuses on the social contract and the ways that has shaped humanity's ideas about morality and politics. Midgley then extends the inquiry to examine those who fall outside the social contract: animals and, in some cases, even women. As ever, Midgley argues that we must develop an inclusive morality with room for all those capable of thought.
Evolution as Religion (1985): Evolution as Religion highlights a number of evolution-related scientific doctrines that have been treated as part of Darwin's theory, but are not. Midgley objects to using genetic engineering and AI to create a superior human race and instead promoted using technology to achieve ecological goals, thereby benefitting all.
Science as Salvation (1992): In Science as Salvation, Midgley objects to the treatment of science as a religion. She contends that science exists only to establish facts and that the belief that science can save us is dangerous myth-making intended to fulfill an unmet human need that could better be met through philosophy and a rational understanding of science's limitation.
The Ethical Primate (1994): The Ethical Primate offers Midgley's argument against the artificial isolation of mind and body in science. To Midgley, all good analysis should involve the many integrated facets of humanity: mind, body, human morality. For her, the ability to recognize the conflict between morality and freedom is part of a natural inheritance that we share with other sentient creatures.
Utopias, Dolphins and Computers (1996): This collection of Midgley's essays (all previously published in journals) offers a coherent view of her philosophy for both academic and non-academic readers. Midgley believes that philosophy should be used by everyone to help address the basic intellectual problems of life—from how we should treat animals to how much we should care about the environment to technology's place in our collective future.
The Myths We Live By (2003): In The Myths We Live By, Midgley takes on the idea of myth-making, arguing that humanity's myths are neither lies nor stories, but rather a symbolic representation of how we approach the world. She further shows how our myths often reveal flawed thinking, including the myths of progress, mind/body separation, and the power of science. Midgley ultimately asserts that science is being incorrectly used in the wrong places, allowing humanity to believe that all solutions lie in science and technology rather than in an integrated understanding of humanity and its place in the natural world.
Bookplate of the Bishop of Limerick in Science as Salvation. Old price sticker on the front flap of The Myths We Live By dust jacket.
Small tape repair to verso of Heart and Mind dust jacket, tiny chip to dust jacket corned of Beast and Man. Near-fine to fine condition.