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Tallis argues that the rise of biologism has serious conseuences and demonstrates that by denying human uniueness and minimizing the I actually finished this a week after getting it early last month It s one of those books that I wrote lots of notes alongside and I haven t yet had time to do a collated review but I will do one later as I think it s an important book Just a few points here First there is an awful lot I disagree with That s fine That s how it should be That s what conversations produce discussions arguments But the book itself is well written well structured fair and honest it is often rhetorical ironic downright sarcastic and vituperative but it wears it well The Launcelott Spratt bombastic tone is a bit annoying at times but also kind of endearing The main thing is Tallis has given us a swashbuckling demolition job on Neuromania and the horrendous drift towards identifying the mind with the brain What s he shows clearly why this is not some arcane academic dispute but of central importance to our society and culture I cannot think of a fortuitous book to come my way after the despair induced by that dreadful Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist I have reviewed that book and am most concerned that my low rating of it is against the grain Why there are respectable people out there who think McGilchrist is erudite because he has an average knowledge of art literature and philosophy Curiously Mary Midgley has blurb on the back of McGilchrist s book praising it and blurb on the back of Tallis s book praising that too even though the latter refers to the former as representing the extremest form of Neuromania That s philosophers for you Anyway I ll come back to this soon The Prince of Pleasure (The Wilde Brothers, yet had time to do a collated review but I will do one later as I think it s an important book Just a few points here First there is an awful lot I disagree with That s fine That s how it should be That s what conversations produce discussions arguments But the book itself is well written well structured fair and honest it is often rhetorical ironic downright sarcastic and vituperative but it wears it well The Launcelott Spratt bombastic tone is a bit annoying at times but also kind of endearing The main thing is Tallis has given us a swashbuckling demolition job on Neuromania and the horrendous drift towards identifying the mind with the brain What s he shows clearly why this is not some arcane academic dispute but of central importance to our society and culture I cannot think of a fortuitous book to come my way after the despair induced by that dreadful Master and His Emissary by Iain McGilchrist I have reviewed that book and am most concerned that my low rating of it is against the grain Why there are respectable people out there who think McGilchrist is erudite because he has an average knowledge of art literature and philosophy Curiously Mary Midgley has blurb on the back of McGilchrist s book praising it and blurb on the back of Tallis s book praising that too even though the latter refers to the former as representing the extremest form of Neuromania That s philosophers for Hers to Protect you Anyway I ll come back to this soon

Free read Aping Mankind

Aping Mankind

Account of humanity He suggests that seeing ourselves as animals may lead us to find reasons for treating others as less than human Very very few books can claim to have changed my mind about something fundamental This one did Not an easy read tightly argued occasionally polemical and ultimately convincing me that my prior views were probably mistaken

Summary ï PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB free ☆ Raymond Tallis

Differences between humans and their nearest animal kin it misrepresents what we are offering a grotesuely simplified and degrading I ve enjoyed the Tallis style of fisticuffs ever since I first read his barbed assault on post structuralism in Not Saussure In the last 15 years I ve bought far of his books than I ve finished but I did make through this one despite his penchant for logic chopping points into bosons and inventing neologisms like neuromania and Darwinitis If you re the type of skeptic entertained by Frederick Crews on Freud or Paul Feyerabend on scientific method then you ll find Tallis a treatTallis is an atheistic humanist whose humanism is as vigorous as his atheism which makes for fine polemics Here his double barrels are aimed at thinkers who reduce the mind to the brain which seems to include almost everyone who s written on the subject He makes great sport with our current credulity toward functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI the observation that some specific activity lights up some part of the brain can apparently convince of us of anything For much of the book he marches us through the perils of neurological na vet with its risible simplication of human behaviour to the point that I now regard a brain scan that fast acting solvent of critical faculties as suspect in the hands of a physical philosopher as the photographs of the Cottingley FairiesHe saves the fun stuff for the end savaging the neuromanic reduction as it manifests in art and literary criticism law ethics economics and remarkably for an atheist theology Here for example is his comment on A S Byatt s application of neurological findings to the poetry of John Donne By adopting a neurophysiological approach Byatt loses a rather large number of distinctions between reading one poem by Donne and another between successive readings of a particular poem between reading Donne and another metaphysical poet between reading the metaphysical poets and reading William Carlos Williams between reading great literature and trash between reading and many other activities That is an impressive number of distinctions for a literary critic to loseAt the heart of the entire discussion is the mystery of consciousness and Tallis freely admits he cannot clarify the conundrum at best we end up with ontological agnosticism the failure to find a neuroscientific basis or correlative of the self is evidence not that the I is an illusion but that neuroscience is limited in what it has to say about usFor the bemused I should probably mention that Tallis is a gerontologist specializing in the treatment of epilepsy and stroke in which fMRI plays an critical diagnostic role


10 thoughts on “Aping Mankind

  1. says:

    Tallis takes on neuroscientists and evolutionary psychologists who he argues reduce humans to beasts We have bodily functions like animals but b

  2. says:

    Raymond Tallis understands something that many in the cruder reaches of online atheism do not humanism and materialism are not only not synonymous but prove under relatively little scrutiny to be irreconcilable As soon as one posits that the totality of human personhood is reducible to a closed physical circuitry

  3. says:

    I actually finished this a week after getting it early last month It's one of those books that I wrote lots of notes alongside and I haven't yet had time to do a collated review but I will do one later as I think it's an important bo

  4. says:

    Raymond Tallis plays the Renaissance Man learned in the sciences and humanities come to debunk the twin evils of Neuromania and Darwinitis in Aping Mankind Let me start off by pointing out where I'm in agreement with Tallis He didn't need to convince me that there is an epidemic of over inflated claims coming out of a collection of fields that might be termed neuro evolutionary studies I've increasingly found myself using his coinages thou

  5. says:

    I've enjoyed the Tallis style of fisticuffs ever since I first read his barbed assault on post structuralism in

  6. says:

    The classic philosophers' debate about mind goes like this do we have nonphysical spiritsminds or does mind have a purely physical basis In favor of a nonphysical mind one might point out that even with today's best available technology scientists are not yet able to correlate a person's every thought with a visual image of their brain activity Since mind is invisible or cannot yet be pointed to as a visual

  7. says:

    A very good antidote to Neuroscience and Evolutionary Psychology overreach Fascinating things have come from the study of our brains and our evolutionary origins but excitement on these fronts has lead to a blind hubris and a demeaning antihuma

  8. says:

    This is a really hard read Tallis is obviously well read and a gifted thinker but this also makes him a hard read if the topics in science and philosophy are not things you are already familiar with as he is a na

  9. says:

    Very very few books can claim to have changed my mind about something fundamental This one did Not an easy read tightly argued occasionally polemical and ultimately convincing me that my prior views were probably mistaken

  10. says:

    Tallis has written one very good book and one mediocre book and they are both between the same two covers The first half of Aping Mankind is a sweeping scathing and often hysterical demolition of the notion that the full panorama of h

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