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[a. L. acumen, sharpness, point; f. acu-ere to sharpen.] 1. Quickness or penetration of perception.
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Are you an illusion?
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Are You an Illusion?
Has science killed the self? Renowned philosopher Mary Midgley explores the remarkable gap that has opened up between our understanding of our sense of self and today’s scientific orthodoxy, which treats the self as nothing more than an elaborate illusion. Bringing her formidable acuity and analytic skills to bear, she exposes some very odd claims and muddled thinking on the part of cognitive scientists and psychologists when they talk about the self. Well-known philosophical problems in causality, subjectivity, empiricism, free will and determinsim are shown to have been glossed over by scientists claiming that the self is no more than a jumble of brain cells. Midgley argues powerfully and persuasively that the rich variety of our imaginative life cannot be contained in the narrow bounds of a highly puritanical materialism that equates brain and self. Are You an Illusion? is an impassioned defence of the importance of our own experiences – the subjective sources of thought – which are every bit as necessary for the world as the objective ones such as brain cells.
MARY MIDGLEY is one of the UK’s most eminent philosophers. She is the author of over a dozen books, including Beast and Man, Evolution as a Religion and The Myths We Live By. She was part of a remarkable group of women philosophers at Oxford in the 1940s before going on to teach at
Newcastle University until her retirement in 1980. She continues to write and give talks.
March | pages | PB | - - - - | £ . | Heretics www.acumenpublishing.com Acumen