Frasi di Mary Midgley

Mary Midgley photo
12   0

Mary Midgley

Data di nascita: 13. Settembre 1919
Data di morte: 10. Ottobre 2018

Mary Beatrice Midgley , filosofa inglese.

Frasi Mary Midgley

„Nessuna specie è un'isola.“

—  Mary Midgley

Origine: Da Perché gli animali; citato in Stefano Rodotà (a cura di), Ambito e fonti del biodiritto, Giuffrè Editore, Milano, 2010, p. 29 http://books.google.it/books?id=IWCG6FPQK7gC&pg=PA29. ISBN 88-14-15909-2
Origine: Cfr. John Donne: «Nessun uomo è un'isola».

Help us translate English quotes

Discover interesting quotes and translate them.

Start translating

„Quantification, like surgery, is an excellent thing in the right place, but a very bad topic for obsession. Unless you know just what you are counting--unless you are sure that the things counted are standard units--and unless you understand what is proved by results of your counting, quantifying provide you only with the outward show of science, a mirage, never the oasis.“

—  Mary Midgley

Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979). 87-88.
Contesto: The future will not "be with" anybody in the sense of falling to them as a conquest. The need for many different methods is not going to go away, dissolved in a quasi-physical heaven where all serious work is quantitative... Quantification, like surgery, is an excellent thing in the right place, but a very bad topic for obsession. Unless you know just what you are counting--unless you are sure that the things counted are standard units--and unless you understand what is proved by results of your counting, quantifying provide you only with the outward show of science, a mirage, never the oasis.

„The trouble with words like "fit" in these discussions is that, if taken in a wide sense they are liable to become vacuous, and if taken more narrowly they easily become tendentious.“

—  Mary Midgley

Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979). 139.
Contesto: The trouble with words like "fit" in these discussions is that, if taken in a wide sense they are liable to become vacuous, and if taken more narrowly they easily become tendentious. Thus the phrase "survival of the fittest" does not mean much if it means only "survival of those most likely to survive." If on the hand it means "survival of those whom we should admire most" or the like, it describes a different state of affairs; we shall need different arguments to persuade us that this is happening. In just the same way, Wilson equivocates with the notion that to be "fit" is an advantage to anybody. If it means "healthy" or "able to do what he wants to do" then it usually is so. But if it only means "likely to have many descendants," then there is no reason for treating it as an advantage at all.

„An obsessive creature, constantly dominated by one kind of motive, would not survive.“

—  Mary Midgley

Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979). 168.
Contesto: Creatures really have divergent and conflicting desires. Their distinct motives are not (usually) wishes for survival or for means-to-survival, but for various particular things to be done and obtained while surviving. And these can always conflict. Motivation is fundamentally plural. It must be so because, in evolution, all sorts of contingincies and needs arise, calling for all sorts of different responses. An obsessive creature, constantly dominated by one kind of motive, would not survive.

„Let us start by considering why the attempt to glorify science on its own cannot work.“

—  Mary Midgley

Are You an Illusion (2014). 6.
Contesto: Let us start by considering why the attempt to glorify science on its own cannot work. This is because human thought operates as a whole. It is an ecosphere, a vast and complex landscape, including, but not confined to, common sense. Science itself is, of course, not a single compartment but a large, thickly wooded area comprising many sciences, an area that merges into those around it. Those sciences vary from physics to anthropology and all of them are shot through with problems coming from areas outside them, such as philosophy and history. Biology, for instance, has to deal with philosophical problems about the concept of life and also with vast historical problems about evolution for which it uses historical methods, not those of physics.

„And it is in working out these concepts more fully, in trying to extend their usefulness, that moral philosophy begins. Were there no conflict, it [moral philosophy] could never have arisen.“

—  Mary Midgley

Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979).
Contesto: Do we find ourselves a species naturally free from conflict? We do not. There has not, apparently, been in our evolution a kind of rationalization which might seem a possible solution to problems of conflict--namely, a takeover by some major motive, such as the desire for future pleasure, which would automatically rule out all competing desires. Instead, what has developed is our intelligence. And this in some ways makes matters worse, since it shows us many desirable things that we would not otherwise have thought of, as well as the quite sufficient number we knew about for a start. In compensation, however, it does help us to arbitrate. Rules and principles, standards and ideals emerge as part of a priority system by which we guide ourselves through the jungle. They never make the job easy--desires that we put low on our priority system do not merely vanish--but they make it possible. And it is in working out these concepts more fully, in trying to extend their usefulness, that moral philosophy begins. Were there no conflict, it [moral philosophy] could never have arisen.

„The symbolism of meat-eating is never neutral. To himself, the meat-eater seems to be eating life. To the vegetarian, he seems to be eating death.“

—  Mary Midgley

Animals and Why They Matter https://books.google.it/books?id=uE7lNzbN7wEC&pg=PA0 (1983), ch. 2, 4.
Contesto: The symbolism of meat-eating is never neutral. To himself, the meat-eater seems to be eating life. To the vegetarian, he seems to be eating death. There is a kind of gestalt-shift between the two positions which makes it hard to change, and hard to raise questions on the matter at all without becoming embattled.

„The notion that we "have a nature" far from threatening the concept of freedom, is absolutely essential to it.“

—  Mary Midgley

Introduction, Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979).
Contesto: The notion that we "have a nature" far from threatening the concept of freedom, is absolutely essential to it. If we were genuinely plastic and indeterminate at birth, there could be no reason why society should not stamp us into any shape that might suit it. The reason people view suggestions about inborn tendencies with such indiscriminate horror seems to be that they think exclusively in one particular way in which the idea of such tendencies has been misused, namely, that where conservative theorists invoke them uncritically to resist reform. But liberal theorists who combat such resistance need them just as much, and indeed, usually more. The early architects of our current notion of freedom made human nature their cornerstone. Rousseau's trumpet call "Man is born free, but everywhere he is in chains," makes sense only as description of our innate constitution as something positive, already determined, and conflicting with what society does to us. Kant and Mill took similar positions. And Marx, though he officially dropped the notion of human nature and attacked the term, relied on the idea as much as anybody else for his crucial notion of Dehumanization.

„Trying to answer this by collecting information about our own neurones would be no more use than doing it, like the Roman augur, by inspecting the entrails of a goat.“

—  Mary Midgley

Beast and Man: The Roots of Human Nature (1979). 173.
Contesto: We must face unconsidered possibilities and ask ourselves alarming questions–for instance, must we perhaps let the self-destroyer go if he really wants to? Trying to answer this by collecting information about our own neurones would be no more use than doing it, like the Roman augur, by inspecting the entrails of a goat.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

Autori simili

Jiddu Krishnamurti photo
Jiddu Krishnamurti11
filosofo apolide
Bertrand Russell photo
Bertrand Russell175
filosofo, logico e matematico gallese
Martin Heidegger photo
Martin Heidegger38
filosofo tedesco
Umberto Galimberti photo
Umberto Galimberti99
filosofo e psicoanalista italiano
José Ortega Y Gasset photo
José Ortega Y Gasset37
filosofo e saggista spagnolo
Ludwig Wittgenstein photo
Ludwig Wittgenstein112
filosofo e logico austriaco
George Santayana photo
George Santayana14
filosofo, scrittore e poeta spagnolo
Zygmunt Bauman photo
Zygmunt Bauman63
sociologo e filosofo polacco
Maria Montessori photo
Maria Montessori31
pedagogista, filosofa e medico italiana
Walter Benjamin photo
Walter Benjamin33
filosofo e scrittore tedesco
Anniversari di oggi
Hermann Hesse photo
Hermann Hesse279
scrittore, poeta e aforista tedesco 1877 - 1962
Edith Stein photo
Edith Stein19
religiosa e filosofa tedesca 1891 - 1942
Mauro Corona photo
Mauro Corona32
scrittore, alpinista e scultore italiano 1950
Enzo Biagi photo
Enzo Biagi202
giornalista, scrittore e conduttore televisivo italiano 1920 - 2007
Altri 59 anniversari oggi
Autori simili
Jiddu Krishnamurti photo
Jiddu Krishnamurti11
filosofo apolide
Bertrand Russell photo
Bertrand Russell175
filosofo, logico e matematico gallese
Martin Heidegger photo
Martin Heidegger38
filosofo tedesco
Umberto Galimberti photo
Umberto Galimberti99
filosofo e psicoanalista italiano
José Ortega Y Gasset photo
José Ortega Y Gasset37
filosofo e saggista spagnolo