Policy, Ethics and Life Sciences Research Centre

Mary Midgley

Mary Midgley

Mary Midgley was one of the country's leading philosophers. She taught philosophy at Newcastle University from 1962 until 1980.

In 2008 Mary received an Honorary Doctor of Civil Law degree from Newcastle University.

She has written 15 books and countless articles and appeared regularly on radio and television until her death in 2018.

Mary Midgley has been described as 'the most frightening philosopher in the country'. This is a result of her defence of her ideas when challenged, particularly by ultra-Darwinists such as Richard Dawkins. 

Her recent work is wide ranging, with concerns including:

  • the role of science in our lives
  • the concepts of human nature and wickedness
  • the part that art and religion have to play in telling us about human behaviour and experience