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I am: A Philosophical Inquiry into First-person Being Hardcover – 3 Jun 2004

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press (3 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074861950X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0748619504
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 2.5 x 16 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,185,073 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'It is likely that his philosophy, and especially his philosophical anthropology will leave a particularly indelible mark on human affairs.’ -- Times Literary Supplement

'One of the most intriguing figures in the current intellectual scene.' -- The Times Higher Education Supplement

‘It is likely that his philosophy, and especially his philosophical anthropology will leave a particularly indelible mark on human affairs.’ -- Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Raymond Tallis is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Mr. RB FORTUNE-WOOD VINE VOICE on 13 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Volume two of Raymond Tallis' three book plunge into philosophical anthropology deals with first-person being. It begins, interestingly, with Descartes cogito and uses Wittgenstein's arguments to illuminate the meditations deficiencies (i.e. the error of beginning an inquiry from a position of absolute doubt). Tallis contends that Descartes' cogito, `was a reflection at a higher and more sophisticated level, of the Existential Intuition.' (p.332) The Existential Intuition is `the sense that I am this', which arises from a sense of agency enabled by the human hand - a point Tallis examines in chapter eight.

Leaving Descartes Tallis then draws on Heidegger's Da-Sein, but argues that Heidegger bypasses the vital point of embodiment - a position Tallis' encapsulates by noting `No Da-Sein without Fort-Sein' (p.133). From here Tallis looks at the necessity of embodiment whilst conceding that using embodiment to allow for Fort-Sein (and therefore Da-Sein) is problematic given the nature of the body. Tallis proceeds to examine identity, drawing on Locke, revealing the flaws in his contribution and coming back to The Existential Intuition to offer a solution to these flaws. Finally, Tallis examines how The Existential Intuition and agency stem from each other before preparing the way for the third volume in the series.

Stylistically `I Am' is accessible without being condescending or diluted; philosophically `I Am' is startling, but humbly aware of its limitations. Tallis' ability to draw on so many strands of philosophical thought and bring them together to posit an original look at first-person being is worthy of praise. The Existential Intuition is particularly fascinating and something I would like to see explored further. Overall this is an engaging, intelligent work of philosophy.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Knowing Thyself 31 Mar. 2010
By Mark - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Fascinating speculations on the origin of the ability of humans to reflect on their own existence. Some great work on the phenomenology of having a body. One of the very few philosophers I have read with a genuine appreciation for both continental philosophers like Heidegger and Merleau Ponty and also for the best in the `analytic' philosophy. Outstanding, but those without a background in philosophy will find it a challenging read.
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