What Is Philosophy For?
Why this book?
Mary Midgley was in her nineties when she wrote this book, yet it’s alive with ideas and energy – and the insistence that philosophy should be “for” something in the most urgent, practical sense; that it should help us explore such questions as to how to live and to do good. Midgley was both highly scientifically literate and fiercely opposed to the claim that science will ever answer every question. We humans, she believed, are brilliant animals who need to understand our biological heritage as richly as possible if we’re to grapple fruitfully with our planetary future. I can think of few more urgent themes for the present century.