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The Solitary Self

Mary Midgley ´ 4 Read

DNF I couldn t finish this despite attempts to ersevere over the two weeks that I tried to read this I just couldn t despite being very interested in the subject Supposedly the book was about Darwinism and whether we should be talking about selfish genes and selfish behaviour or whether co operation is what we should be talking about Except Darwin never claimed to Malice (Conspiracy 365, promote selfishness as the way to go it s just an oversimplification to assume that The book ended up beingage upon age of uotes supposedly backing up the authors rejection of what amounts to an assumption about Darwin the uotes don t back the author s viewpoint up "the uotes t back the author s viewpoint up m a bit of a Darwinist but tried desperately to read this with no reconceptions and would like to think I was open minded However when the book is as oorly constructed as it is I m unlikely to be convinced to change my mind by what is written Disappointing book as Midgley spends to much time slating Richard Dawkins in a rather boorish ersonal way rather than offering arguments she believed she Progressive Consumption Taxation possessedChapter 5 and 6 were a little encouraging as she expanded on her thoughts on the themeExpected from someone held in high regard by many Among moralhilosophers Mary Midgley has a razor sharp mind and when she speaks I listen Her new book is The Solitary Self Darwin and the Selfish Gene As the title suggests in the book she takes up her long standing disagreement with Selfish Gene As the title suggests in the book she takes up her long standing disagreement with Dawkins and his The Selfish Gene an extremely important book which nonetheless appeals to a rather limited understanding of Darwin according to Midgley She oints out that Dawkins title is anthropomor. The first title to launch a new series of books Heretics Mary Midgley is the doyenne of British. Phic and therefore off the "MarkShe Discusses The Linkage Between "discusses the linkage between rather shallow but Two Bunnykins out to Tea prevalent societal view of individualism and Darwin s concerns about evolution and human morality I will add that in the USA both theolitics of economics and *Politics In General Are Based On A Flawed Spencerian Understanding * in general are based on a flawed Spencerian understanding human nature What do I mean In The Descent of Man Darwin oints out that humans are aware of their life as a whole and the effect of their actions good or bad upon the entire culture unlike other animals This is Darwin s understanding of human nature and it does not imply modern market economics ideology in which Ayn Rand s Nietzschean and wealthy superheroes save the masses from themselves 19th Century America unfortunates have become losers in the 21st so to distinguish them from the only other ossibility winnersThe Selfish Gene Midgley argues represents an extreme neo Darwinism She allows that Dawkins didn t invent this view but Teach Me piggy backed upon a Spencerian survival of the fittest mythrevalent in society since the Nineteenth Century These are not her words but I am sure she would concur The success of Dawkins book stems from its resonance with Monty post industrial mythShe challenges a reduction of human motivation to self interest Humansychology is not so neat she says Instead reductionist individualism can be traced to the Eighteenth Century and before that Thomas Hobbes contribution to Enlightenment thought Ayn Rand s Atlas Shrugged represents a heroic independence that is not a realistic aim for Homo sapiens Darwin called it right As natural selection reveals over and over fittest does not me. Moral hilosophers The book is a formidable critiue of the use of Darwin’s ideas in modern day. An strongest but an ability to adapt often through cooperation with other organisms We humans evolved to cooperate to interact constantly with one another and as a dependent and tiny The Writers Handbook 1999 part of complex and huge ecosystems Too bad that a enlightened understanding of human nature has not found its way into economics andolitics Always interesting and worth reading You definetly do not want to be on her bad side I just wonder what Richard Dawkin s response WAS AS SHE REALLY DOES TAKE HIM TO THE as she really does take him to the and have a go at him for on the one hand not fully taking on board the complexity of Darwin s ideas and on the other hand for trying to reduce everything to rather simplistic terms She is no friend of reductionism of any sort I feel I need to read it again however as it was some of the almost throw away oints Ms Midgely makes which seemed most interesting excellent look at how darwinism has been misused to destroy mans "Connection With His Enviroment In The Artificial Pursuit Of The "with his enviroment in the artificial ursuit of the I loved this The Long-Legged Fly polemic against the excessive individualism and competition based model of recent Darwinianism that was very far from what Darwin had in mind It is also increasingly undermined by recent research which suggests that natural selection is not the onlyrocess at work no not intelligent design so much as the laws of Beneath the Surface (Reluctance, physics on what structures areossibleand the same solution is often independently arrived at Also competition and synergy are as important as competitive nature red in tooth and claw Obvious when you think about it unless you have a Social Darwinian The Service perspective Anyway a great concise mind opening read. Accounts of human motivation most notably in the work of evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins.

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