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.

โ€” Mary Midgley

The most unbelievable Mary Midgley quotes that are glad to read

Hubris calls for nemesis, and in one form or another it's going to get it, not as a punishment from outside but as the completion of a pattern already started.


Evolution is the creation-myth of our age.

By telling us our origin it shapes our views of what we are. It influences not just our thought, but our feelings and actions too, in a way which goes far beyond its official function as a biological theory.


It is extremely urgent to try and adapt our thoughts realistically to a world which has no fixed general direction either upward or downward, but is likely to vary largely according to what we do.


None of us can study anything properly unless we do it with our whole being.


When some portion of the biosphere is rather unpopular with the human race-a crocodile, a dandelion, a stony valley, a snowstorm, an odd-shaped flint-there are three sorts of human being who are particularly likely still to see point in it and befriend it. They are poets, scientists and children. Inside each of us, I suggest, representatives of all these groups can be found.


It is this claim to a monopoly of meaning, rather than any special scientific doctrine, that makes science and religion look like competitors today. Scientism emerged not as the conclusion of scientific argument but as a chosen element in a worldview - a vision that attracted people by its contrast with what went before - which is, of course, how people very often do make such decisions, even ones that they afterwards call scientific.


Few scientists would treat their cars as badly as they treat their conceptual schemes.


The trouble with human beings is not really that they love themselves too much;

they ought to love themselves more. The trouble is simply that they donโ€™t love others enough. "The End of Anthropocentrism?


The world in which the kestrel moves, the world that it sees, is, and always will be, entirely beyond us. That there are such worlds all around us is an essential feature of our world.


Morally as well as physically, there is only one world, and we all have to live in it

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