Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals

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Macmillan, Oct 16, 2007 - Philosophy - 245 pages

The British bestseller Straw Dogs is an exciting, radical work of philosophy, which sets out to challenge our most cherished assumptions about what it means to be human. From Plato to Christianity, from the Enlightenment to Nietzsche and Marx, the Western tradition has been based on arrogant and erroneous beliefs about human beings and their place in the world. Philosophies such as liberalism and Marxism think of humankind as a species whose destiny is to transcend natural limits and conquer the Earth. John Gray argues that this belief in human difference is a dangerous illusion and explores how the world and human life look once humanism has been finally abandoned. The result is an exhilarating, sometimes disturbing book that leads the reader to question our deepest-held beliefs. Will Self, in the New Statesman, called Straw Dogs his book of the year: "I read it once, I read it twice and took notes . . . I thought it that good." "Nothing will get you thinking as much as this brilliant book" (Sunday Telegraph).

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - sometimeunderwater - LibraryThing

Gray is better when he's in metaphysical territory, and when he's demolishing the cherished views of philosophers before him. His chapters on 'The Human' and 'The Deception' are masterful, and every ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - karl.steel - LibraryThing

Probably unfair, but as soon as Gray described evolution as 'blind chance,' which is to say, 3 pages in, I put it down. Evolution lacks a telos, yes; it's nonhierarchical, yes; but it does not proceed ... Read full review

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About the author (2007)

A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books, John Gray is the author of Black Mass, among other books. He is currently a professor of European thought at the London School of Economics.

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