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Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals

Straw Dogs: Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals

John N. Gray


Strawmen as much as straw dogs: weak portrayals of ideas that can then be more easily torn down.

I find it hard to see ow this book achieved so much praise. In part it's self-negating, a modern academic berating all the things that make his own activities possible. But many of the criticisms are also deliberate set-ups, for example telling me (a scientist) what "scientists" think (because we're all the same, you know), and using it to demolish and/or demonise our activities. I would just point out that reading commentaries about science by philosophers and historians isn't the same as practicing, and Gray might find that practitioners have a rather different outlook on their activities.

1/5. Finished 27 January 2019.

(Originally published on Goodreads.)

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