Crude materialism, reduction of mind to body, extreme individualism. All products of a 17th century scientific inheritance which looks at the parts of our existence at the expense of the whole.
Cutting through myths of scientific omnipotence, Mary Midgley explores how this inheritance has so powerfully shaped the way we are, and the problems it has brought with it. She argues that poetry and the arts can help reconcile these problems, and counteract generations of 'one-eyed specialists', unable and unwilling to look beyond their own scientific or literary sphere.
Dawkins, Atkins, Bacon and Descartes all come under fire as Midgely sears through contemporary debate, from Gaia to memes, and organic food to greenhouse gases. After years of unquestioned imperialism, science is finally forced to take a step back and acknowledge the arts.