ISBN-10:
0415610249
ISBN-13:
9780415610247
Pub. Date:
06/07/2011
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
The Myths We Live By / Edition 1

The Myths We Live By / Edition 1

by Mary Midgley
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Overview

With a new Introduction by the author

'An elegant and sane little book. – The New Statesman

Myths, as Mary Midgley argues in this powerful book, are everywhere. In political thought they sit at the heart of theories of human nature and the social contract; in economics in the pursuit of self interest; and in science the idea of human beings as machines, which originates in the seventeenth century, is a today a potent force. Far from being the opposite of science, however, Midgley argues that myth is a central part of it. Myths are neither lies nor mere stories but a network of powerful symbols for interpreting the world. Tackling a dazzling array of subjects such as philosophy, evolutionary psychology, animals, consciousness and the environment in her customary razor-sharp prose, The Myths We Live By reminds us of the powerful role of symbolism and the need to take our imaginative life seriously.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780415610247
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/07/2011
Series: Routledge Classics Series
Pages: 296
Sales rank: 636,986
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About 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.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements Foreword to The Routledge Classics Edition 1. How myths work 2. Our place in the world 3. Progress, science and modernity 4. Thought has many forms 5. The aims of reduction 6. Dualistic dilemmas 7. Motives, materialism and megalomania 8. What action is 9. Tidying the inner scene: why memes? 10. The sleep of reason produces monsters 11. Getting rid of the ego 12. Cultural evolution? 13. Selecting the selectors 14. Is reason sex-linked? 15. The journey from freedom to desolation 16. Biotechnology and the yuk factor 17. The new alchemy 18. The supernatural engineer 19. Heaven and earth, and awkward history 20. Science looks both ways 21. Are you an animal? 22. Problems about parsimony 23. Denying the animal consciousness 24. Beasts via the biosphere 25. Some practical dilemmas 26. Problems of living with otherness 27. Changing ideas of wildness Notes Index

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The Myths We Live By 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
roblong on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A collection of essays about the ways we construct our worldviews, and particularly how theories of genuine but limited value - like the social contract, say - are turned into all-consuming mythologies that can become distorting and false. Spends a lot of time talking about the ways in which scientific ideas are affected by this process, and how our mythologies about the natural world are no longer valid and need re-assessing.Interesting stuff, if anything I was too much in agreement with her most of the time. Less focused as a whole than some of her other work, and I did have the feel that she was just writing and seeing where her thoughts led her, which is not the worst thing. Worth a read, but not as good as Evolution as a Religion or Heart and Mind.