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Mary Warnock, 7 February 1980

Charles, Prince of Wales 
by Anthony Holden.
Weidenfeld, 336 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 297 77662 2
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... In the ordinary way, it would count as a considerable triumph to spin out the biography of a man only 30 years old, and described as a late developer, to 21 chapters, 270 pages, excluding appendices. But of course the Prince of Wales is not ordinary; and much of Mr Holden’s book is not about the Prince but about the British Monarchy, its recent history and putative future ...

Back home

Mary Warnock, 1 September 1983

Cohabitation without Marriage 
by Michael Freeman and Christina Lyon.
Gower, 228 pp., £15, April 1983, 0 566 00455 0
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A Prison of Expectations: The Family in Victorian Culture 
by Steven Mintz.
New York, 234 pp., $32.50, May 1983, 0 8147 5388 4
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What is to be done about the family? 
edited by Lynne Segal.
Penguin, 237 pp., £2.50, April 1983, 0 14 006596 2
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‘Autistic’ Children: New Hope for a Cure 
by N. Tinbergen and E.A. Tinbergen.
Allen and Unwin, 362 pp., £19.50, April 1983, 0 04 157010 3
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Thicker than water? Adoption: Its Loyalties, Pitfalls and Joys 
by Alice Heim.
Secker, 211 pp., £8.95, May 1983, 0 436 19155 5
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The Artificial Family: A Consideration of Artificial Insemination by Donor 
by R. Snowden and G.D. Mitchell.
Counterpoint, 138 pp., £2.95, April 1983, 0 04 176002 6
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... The question what we are to think of the family has taken on a new urgency. We are flooded with instructions. Thatcherism is identified with a call to return to Victorian values. These consist in the teaching and learning of a moral code, respect for and obedience to a patriarchal figure, and a subordinate and primarily domestic role for women. The return is thus a return to the quintessential family ...

Special Status

R.J. Berry, 21 February 1985

Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology 
HMSO, 103 pp., £6.40Show More
Human Procreation: Ethical Aspects of the New Techniques 
Oxford, 91 pp., £3.95, December 1984, 0 19 857608 0Show More
The Redundant Male 
by Jeremy Cherfas and John Gribbin.
Bodley Head, 197 pp., £9.95, May 1984, 9780370305233
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Begotten of Made? Human Procreation and Medical Technique 
by Oliver O’Donovan.
Oxford, 88 pp., £2.50, June 1984, 0 19 826678 2
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... a Committee of Inquiry into Human Fertilisation and Embryology under the chairmanship of Mary Warnock, ‘to consider recent and potential developments in medicine and science related to human fertilisation and embryology; and to consider what policies and safeguards should be applied, including consideration of the social, ethical and legal ...

Double Brains

P.W. Atkins, 19 May 1988

Medicine, Mind and the Double Brain 
by Anne Harrington.
Princeton, 336 pp., £24.70, November 1987, 0 691 08332 0
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The Multiple Self 
edited by Jon Elster.
Cambridge, 269 pp., £9.95, September 1987, 0 521 34683 5
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by Mary Warnock.
Faber, 150 pp., £11.95, October 1987, 0 571 14783 6
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... What seems to be a much less problematic aspect of our functioning is brought into focus by Mary Warnock in her book on memory. Her aim is to find an answer to the elusive question of why we value so highly our ability to recall the past. Her answer, such as it is, centres on the relationship between the concepts of memory and personal identity as ...

Life and Death

Philippa Foot, 7 August 1986

The End of Life 
by James Rachels.
Oxford, 196 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 9780192177469
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Voluntary Euthanasia 
edited by A.B. Downing and Barbara Smoker.
Peter Owen, 303 pp., £14.95, February 1986, 0 7206 0651 9
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Moral Dilemmas in Modern Medicine 
edited by Michael Lockwood.
Oxford, 250 pp., £12.95, January 1986, 0 19 217743 5
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... sought by those who have to take decisions of policy or practice. So now in England we have the Warnock Report, while in America philosophers advising hospital ethics committees have been known to carry bleepers to summon them to conferences on matters of life and death. Medical ethics – a subject unheard of only a few decades ago – is lately the main ...

Snob Cuts

Rosemary Hill: Modern Snobbery, 3 November 2016

... The dislike she aroused was couched in terms of condescension that had nothing to do with policy. Mary Warnock objected to her clothes, her Oxford tutor Dorothy Hodgkin famously brushed her off as ‘a perfectly good second-class chemist’, while on the social front Tatler captioned pictures of the prime minister ‘Mrs Denis Thatcher’. Accused of ...

Thinking Women

Jane Miller, 6 November 1986

... women’ (which included Florence Nightingale, Simone Weil, Marghanita Laski and Mary Warnock), not to be special, creative, glorious or pampered, not to rely on servants or an unearned income, not to become dependent on expensive domestic aids, which I knew most working-class women survived without. If I now feel critical of those ...

Bristling Ermine

Jeremy Harding: R.W. Johnson, 4 May 2017

Look Back in Laughter: Oxford’s Postwar Golden Age 
by R.W. Johnson.
Threshold, 272 pp., £14.50, May 2015, 978 1 903152 35 5
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How Long Will South Africa Survive? The Looming Crisis 
by R.W. Johnson.
Hurst, 288 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 84904 723 4
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... Taylor was ‘a spoiled child’, Johnson tells us, with an immense ego.Johnson fingers Mary Warnock more unequivocally as an English hypocrite. Opposed to co-ed colleges for years, she changed her mind when her husband became principal of Hertford College, which was about to vote to admit women. At that point the ‘First Lady’ of Hertford ...

I met murder on the way

Colin Kidd: Castlereagh, 24 May 2012

Castlereagh: Enlightenment, War and Tyranny 
by John Bew.
Quercus, 722 pp., £25, September 2011, 978 0 85738 186 6
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... and, above all, her voice, which irritated so many different sorts of people, from the philosopher Mary Warnock to a million or so working-class Scottish males. What was so grating about Castlereagh in the flesh – or on the ear – escapes later ...

What is rude?

Thomas Nagel: Midgley, Murdoch, Anscombe, Foot, 10 February 2022

The Women Are up to Something: How Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot, Mary Midgley and Iris Murdoch Revolutionised Ethics 
by Benjamin J.B. Lipscomb.
Oxford, 326 pp., £20, November 2021, 978 0 19 754107 4
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Metaphysical Animals: How Four Women Brought Philosophy Back to Life 
by Clare Mac Cumhaill and Rachael Wiseman.
Chatto, 398 pp., £25, February, 978 1 78474 328 4
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... wonder why it hasn’t been treated before. Elizabeth Anscombe, Philippa Foot (née Bosanquet), Mary Midgley (née Scrutton) and Iris Murdoch all matriculated at Oxford in the late 1930s. When most of the men went off to war, they found themselves, as women philosophy students, in a very unusual situation – not in the minority and on the periphery, but ...

Biting into a Pin-cushion

A.D. Nuttall: Descartes’s botch, 24 June 2004

Flesh in the Age of Reason 
by Roy Porter.
Allen Lane, 574 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 7139 9149 6
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... Berkeley did not, however, complete his reification of the ideas (the ‘sensa’). G.J. Warnock in his book on Berkeley wondered why Berkeley did not throw away the other half of the duplicated universe: why did he not discard the mediating idea and simply insist that the sensum and the object were a single, fully real thing? Instead Berkeley ...

An Example of the Good Life

Steven Shapin: Michael Polanyi, 15 December 2011

Michael Polanyi and His Generation: Origins of the Social Construction of Science 
by Mary Jo Nye.
Chicago, 405 pp., £29, October 2011, 978 0 226 61063 4
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... isn’t a lot of current interest in who Polanyi was and how he came to hold the views he did. Mary Jo Nye’s excellent and richly researched book aims to tell us and, along the way, uncovers a genealogy for the notion of tacit knowledge that situates it in the force fields shaping much 20th-century thinking about politics and economics as well as ...

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