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Mary Midgley, Moral Philosopher for the General Reader, Dies at the age of 99

The New York Times: “Mary Midgley, a leading British moral philosopher who became an accessible, persistent and sometimes witty critic of the view that modern science should be the sole arbiter of reality, died on Wednesday, less than three weeks after her last book was published, in Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne. She was 99. Her death was confirmed by Ian Ground, who teaches philosophy at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, where Dr. Midgley taught for many years. Dr. Midgley wrote more than a dozen books for a general audience, beginning when she was in her late 50s and continuing well into her 90s. Her last book, “What Is Philosophy For?,” was published by Bloomsbury Academic on Sept. 20.

“Not many authors can be known to publish a book in their 100th year,” the publisher said in a statement, adding, “Its quality and remarkable insights do not fall short of the brilliant mind that penned it.” The biologist Stephen Rose, writing in The Times Literary Supplement in 1992, called Dr. Midgley “a philosopher with what many have come to admire, and some to fear, as one of the sharpest critical pens in the West.” Andrew Brown, writing in The Guardian in 1981, called her “the foremost scourge of scientific pretension in this country.”..

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