Mary is known for her work on science, ethics and animal rights, she has published numerous articles throughout her career. She wrote her first book, Beast And Man (1978), when she was in her fifties. Subsequently she has written over 15 other books, including Animals and Why They Matter (1983), Wickedness (1984), The Ethical Primate (1994), Evolution as a Religion (1985), Science as Salvation (1992), and The Solitary Self (2010). Her latest book, Are You An Illusion? was published in 2014.
Mary Midgley was awarded an honorary D. Litt by Durham University in 1995 and an honorary Doctor of Civil Law by Newcastle University in 2008. She is an honorary fellow of the Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre at Newcastle University.