Greg McElwain

Personal recollection (Fellow philosopher)

Mary Midgley

General Recollections and Thoughts

I began collaborating with Mary Midgley as a graduate student when I was writing my dissertation on her animal and environmental ethic. I visited her in Newcastle for the first time in 2011 and continued to do so yearly - with the general support of National Endowment for the Humanities funds - until just before her death in 2018. The transcription of these visits form much of the background for my recent book on her philosophy titled Mary Midgley: An Introduction (Bloomsbury, 2019). 

I look back fondly on these visits as precious time with a mentor and inspiration. I was incredibly fortunate to have formed such a relationship with Midgley and also to have learned so much from her over the years.

A comment on intellectual indebtedness

I am heavily indebted, intellectually and otherwise, to Midgley's philosophy and mentoring. I pursued a career in philosophy, particularly environmental philosophy, after first reading Midgley's work. My graduate work centered on her animal and environmental ethic, but our collaboration over the years eventually led me to write a more broad introduction to her work. I also integrate Midgley's work into my teaching, particularly because of the way she does philosophy. In this way, I am regularly in conversation with Midgley, either through teaching or writing, even after her passing.


Conversations with Mary Midgley


A series of personal interviews with Mary Midgley from 2011-2018.


Newcastle upon Tyne, Tyne and Wear, North East England, England, United Kingdom

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