Aping Mankind and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more
FREE Delivery in the UK.
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon.
Gift-wrap available.
Quantity:1
Aping Mankind: Neuromania... has been added to your Basket
Condition: Used: Like New
Comment: Used Good condition book may have signs of cover wear and/or marks on corners and page edges. Inside pages may have highlighting, writing and underlining. All purchases eligible for Amazon customer service and a 30-day return policy.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity Hardcover – 26 May 2011

17 customer reviews

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
£25.00
£14.58 £5.33
£25.00 FREE Delivery in the UK. Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity + Biocentrism
Price For Both: £32.69

Buy the selected items together



Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (26 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844652726
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844652723
  • Product Dimensions: 3.8 x 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 184,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

Product Description

Review

"Despite its mischievous title, Aping Mankind is a very serious book, and represents the author's current location in his decades-long stream of multifaceted thinking. Tallis has been called a polymath — he is a physician, philosopher, public speaker, and a prolific writer … Much of his speaking and writing over the past several decades has been deliberately controversial and engagingly argumentative, and Aping Mankind is no exception … The breadth of Tallis's familiarity and facility with the positions of others both in his own field and in others (such as the arts) is impressive throughout the book … The reader will find it richly rewarding, packed with thoughts worth sharing and ideas worth considering, and quite a lot of fun. For what more could we reasonably ask?" – Metapsychology Online

"This is an immensely valuable book because it makes us think hard about what we are and 'if any ideas are important, then ideas about the kind of creatures we are must be of supreme importance'. My bottom line is buy it and read it and then read it again and again and again … A landmark book." – Network Review

"A triumph of rational thought over the Darwinian afflictions that the author argues against in such an eloquent fashion" – The Quarterly Review of Biology

"A terrific book, though readers must be prepared to read it at least twice, not because it is in any sense obscure, but fully to appreciate the richness and subtlety of Tallis’s novel insights, with all their implications for our understanding of humanity’s precious attributes of freedom, intentionality and moral responsibility." – James Le Fanu, The Tablet

"A trenchant, lucid and witty attack on the reductive materialism of many scientific accounts of consciousness – not from a religious point of view, but that of an atheist humanist with a distinguished record in medicine and neuroscience." – David Lodge, The Guardian’s Books of the Year 2011

"Neuroscience, we are implausibly informed by white-coated Simon Baron-Cohen, will help dispense with evil. Who better to debunk its pretensions while instructing us in its uses than wise, literate Raymond Tallis, a neuroscientist himself, in his entertaining Aping Mankind." – George Walden, Evening Standard’s Best Books of the Year

"With erudition, wit and rigour, Tallis reveals that much of our current wisdom is as silly as bumps-on-the-head phrenology." – Jane O’Grady, The Observer

"Impassioned and intensely erudite." – Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

"Brilliantly written . . . renowned polymath Raymond Tallis puts the picture back into much clearer perspective in his scathing exposé of neuroscientific narcissism." – Human Givens

"A pleasure to read. . . Tallis is fighting for a good cause." – Willem B. Drees, Times Higher

"This kind of personhood – the capacity, in fact the compulsion, to bring things together into some kind of coherent narrative, without which experience is not just senseless, but almost impossible, is what Tallis believes science cannot now explain. Anyone tempted to suppose that science has explained it even in principle – and that means almost all of us – should read him, and realise we’re wrong." – Andrew Brown, The Guardian

"an all-out assault on the exaggerated claims made on behalf of the biological sciences . . . an important work. Tallis is right to point out that a fundamental shift in our self-perception is under way and frequently going too far." – Stephen Cave, Financial Times

". . . a relentless assertion of common sense against a delusive but entrenched academic orthodoxy. Few books evince their authors’ complete mastery of his subject like Aping Mankind." – The New English Review

"A provocative, fascinating, and deeply paradoxical book. . . Tallis displays a wit and a turn of phrase which often made me howl with laughter." – Allan Chapman, Church Times

"A major and erudite statement of a position that is intellectually, morally and spiritually of the first importance to us living now." – Roger Scruton

"A splendid book. Tallis is right to say that current attempts to explain major elements of human life by brain-talk are fearfully misguided. He is exceptional in having both the philosophical grasp to understand what is wrong here and the scientific knowledge to expose it fully. He documents the gravity of this menace with real fire, venom and humour." – Mary Midgley

"A wonderful book and an important book, one that all neuroscientists should read. Tallis’s fearless criticism of the work of some distinguished contemporary academics and scientists and the rather ludicrous experimental paradigms of fMRI work needs to be made." – Simon Shorvon, UCL Institute of Neurology

"I strongly recommend this work to existential therapists and indeed to anyone who has ever asked the question of what it is to be human...Tallis writes eloquently and argues brilliantly" – Existential Analysis

About the Author

Raymond Tallis trained as a doctor before going on to become Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester. He was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences for his research in clinical neuroscience. He retired from medicine in 2006 to become a full-time writer. He has written over a dozen books of cultural criticism, philosophy of mind and philosophical anthropology including, most recently, the acclaimed The Kingdom of Infinite Space. In 2009, The Economist's Intelligent Life magazine named him as one of the top living polymaths in the world.

Inside This Book

(Learn More)
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Robert McLuhan on 12 July 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The doctrine that the brain is the sole source of mental phenomena is so firmly established in Western intellectual circles that it takes a brave thinker to challenge it. Raymond Tallis doesn't merely make the case against it, he tears into it with polemical gusto.

Tallis has no patience with scientism, the 'mistaken belief that the natural sciences can or will give a complete description and even explanation of everything, including human life'. He takes aim at the orthodox view of the brain, promoted aggressively by Daniel Dennett among others, that every mental phenomenon can be accounted for in terms of matter - the physical stuff of physics, chemistry, and physiology. Human behaviour and decision-making can't be reduced to what is going on in our brains, any more than it can be explained in terms of evolutionary adaptation, he thinks. Far from being chained to our evolutionary past, human consciousness has developed to the point that we have the ability to recognize and subvert the unconscious impulses that are supposed to drive us.

There are no punches pulled here. The idea underlying modern neuroscience, that nerve impulses can journey towards a place where they become consciousness, is plain 'barmy', Tallis thinks. He is scathing about Daniel Dennett's attempt to explain away intentionality by arguing that the inner life we ascribe to others is merely an 'interpretative device' and that nothing in reality corresponds to it. On the contrary, he argues, 'it is not out of mere interpretative convenience that we ascribe all sorts of intentional phenomena - perceptions, feelings, thoughts - to people; it is because the intentional phenomena are real, as we know from our own case.
Read more ›
8 Comments Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Tallis deals with difficult (at least to me!) concepts about the mysterious subject of Consciousness. The main thrust seems to be to rubbish current neurobabble that equates thoughts, emotions and ideas with certain parts of the brain as demonstrated on functional mri scans which he labels as modern day phrenology. I was left with the sense that the big C cannot be explained in terms of sodium ion transfer over nerve cell membranes which is really what neurology reduces to. One neurone is much the same as another so how is it that we register the multitudinous shades of thought, feeling, appreciation and sensing etc in these samey lumps of matter? Sodium ion fluctuation is all that happens everywhere in the brain. The brain may be a necessary condition of consciousness in the material world but it is not fully sufficient. How do we as persons appreciate the fully-orbed 'aboutness' of an object rather than having a simple input/output reaction? We 'reach out' in a wide web of conceptual appreciation simultaneously as the object reaches in to our awareness. We also observe ourselves observing; both subject and object at the same moment. Difficult to explain materially even with Quantum physics (which he too disregards).

I think that Tallis as a humanist is desperate to distance humanity from biological determinism (which also undermines the whole concept of the existence of rationality and science therefore) and the bleak philosophies that flow from that. He wants Art for Art's sake and not as an adaptive survival mechanism!
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Jug on 11 Sept. 2011
Format: Hardcover
When a colleague told me that evolutionary psychologists had recently discovered that human beings had evolved to be social animals I was aghast. Having been a social psychologist myself for half a century and aware of at least two hundred years of the greatest minds studying people and their society, taking for granted we are all social beings, I was horrified that any discipline could claim to have 'discovered' this self-evident fact. I realised this was part of a turf war, fought with simple experiments using highly complicated brain mapping machines and unverifiable claims for evolutionary origins, to claim intellectual ownership of every conceivable aspect of human activity and experience from rape to religion. But it was not until I read Raymond Tallis' book that I realised just how deeply these neuro-Darwinian revolutionaries had penetrated into every aspect of our intellectual and professional life. He reveals how nothing is sacred to them whether it be the poems of John Donne or jurisprudence, appreciation of paintings or politics.

Fighting his way through this plethora of attempts to diminish human beings to little more than their biology and evolutionary history he shows with remarkable clarity and wit just how illogical and empirically unsound are their claims. He does this by starting with consideration of the basic biological building blocks of nerve cells and synapses then on to larger structures and the brain. At each stage he deftly shows that it is just not possible to explain the richness of human consciousness, interpersonal-contact and culture by reduction to biochemical processes.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews



Feedback