Mary Midgley is one of the most important moral philosophers working today. Over the last thirty years, her writings have informed debates concerning animals, the environment and evolutionary theory. The invited essays in this volume offer critical reflections upon Midgley’s work and further developments of her ideas. The contributors include many of the leading commentators on her work, including distinguished figures from the disciplines of philosophy, biology, and ethology. The range of topics includes the moral status of animals, the concept of wickedness, science and mythology, Midgley’s relationship to modern moral philosophy, and her relationship with Iris Murdoch. It also includes the first full bibliography of Midgley’s writings. The volume is the first major study of its kind and brings together contributions from the many disciplines which Midgley’s work has influenced. It provides a clear account of the themes and significance of her work and its implications for ongoing debates about our understanding of our place within the world.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Jane Goodall Introduction Ian James Kidd and Liz McKinnell Part I: Animals and Environments 1. Animals, Attitudes, and Moral Theories David E. Cooper 2. Animals, Real and Virtual Stephen R.L. Clark 3. The Mixed Community Gregory McElwain 4. How Pigs Talk: The Need for ‘Earthy Realism’ Françoise Wemelsfelder Part II: Human Nature 5. Beast and Man – 35 Years On Raymond Tallis 6. Is There Such a Thing as Consensus Morality? Mary Warnock Part III: Minds, Human and Animal 7. Extended Minds and the Nature of Seeing Rupert Sheldrake 8. Naturalism, Science, and the Philosophy of Mind Jane Heal 9. Minding Animals Ian Ground Part IV: Science and Evolution 10. Doing Science an Injustice: Midgley on Scientism Ian James Kidd 11. Genes and Geniality: Dawkins, Midgley, and The Selfish Gene Andrew Brown 12. Was Plato a Gorilla? Mary Midgley’s Search for a Metaphysics of Evolution Simon Conway Morris Part V: Women and the World 13. On Being a ‘Full-time Feminist’: Midgley and Feminist Philosophy Liz McKinnell 14. ‘Slipping out over the Wall’: Midgley, Anscombe, Foot, and Murdoch Benjamin Lipscomb 15. Afterword Mary Midgley
Ian James Kidd is Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham. His work ranges over epistemology, philosophy of medicine, philosophy of religion, and philosophy of science, and includes a number of papers on the authority of science, intellectual virtues, and the nature of a religious life. He was formerly an Addison Wheeler Fellow at the Department of Philosophy at Durham University.
Liz McKinnell is a Teaching Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Durham. She works on areas in applied ethics and political philosophy including environmental ethics, the moral status of animals and intergenerational justice. She has published on moral obligations to the dead, and on connections between environmental ethics and the philosophy of cognition and biology.