With a new Introduction by the author'An elegant and sane little book. - The New StatesmanMyths, as Mary Midgley argues in this powerful book, are everywhere.
In political thought they sit at the heart of theories of human nature and the social contract; in economics in the pursuit of self interest; and in science the idea of human beings as machines, which originates in the seventeenth century, is a today a potent force.
Far from being the opposite of science, however, Midgley argues that myth is a central part of it.
Myths are neither lies nor mere stories but a network of powerful symbols for interpreting the world.
Tackling a dazzling array of subjects such as philosophy, evolutionary psychology, animals, consciousness and the environment in her customary razor-sharp prose, The Myths We Live By reminds us of the powerful role of symbolism and the need to take our imaginative life seriously.
Mary Midgley is a moral philosopher and the author of many books including Wickedness, Evolution as a Religion, Beast and Man and Science and Poetry.
All are published in Routledge Classics.