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With a new Introduction by the author'An elegant and sane little book. ' The New StatesmanMyths, 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 pros, 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.
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
Foreword to the Routledge Classics Edition
How myths work
Our place in the world
Progress, science and modernity
Thought has many forms
The aims of reduction
Motives, materialism and megalomania
What action is
Tidying the inner scene: why memes?
The sleep of reason produces monsters
Getting rid of the ego
Selecting the selectors
Is reason sex-linked?
The journey from freedom to desolation
Biotechnology and the yuk factor
The new alchemy
The supernatural engineer
Heaven and earth, an awkward history
Science looks both ways
Are you an animal?
Problems about parsimony
Denying animal consciousness
Beasts versus the biosphere?
Some practical dilemmas
Problems of living with otherness
Changing ideas of wildness
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.