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|Print List Price:||£9.99|
Save £5.40 (54%)
Michelangelo's Finger: An Exploration of Everyday Transcendence Kindle Edition
|Length: 192 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
That "pointing is both universal in, and unique to, humans should alone make it worthy of study." This will strike some as speciesist, although Tallis would deny such a charge and the evidence is on his side. As a good Darwinian atheist he celebrates our connection to all living creatures and the fact that we evolved and were not made. He also makes a strong case for a clear line between human and non-human animals and explores how, "alone of all living creatures, we express the world we live in".
Pointing is not just a physical arrangement of the limbs: there has to be the right kind of mental activity going on as well. Those dog lovers who think Fido can point should try pointing something out and see if he understands what they're doing. Chances are, he'll look at you, adoringly, but won't follow your gaze or the axis created by your finger and arm.Read more ›
Tallis' style is captivating; at one point employing a reverent accent for his subject matter, at another point making amusing puns. More than any other philosopher I have read he infects the reader with his own passion and humour. And equally impressive is his marshalling of knowledge; without straying towards the inaccessible or pretentious he can cite an array of authors to reinforce his arguments. Having previously wondered if there was any parallel between Popper's World 3 (the world of human knowledge) and what Tallis' often calls the community of minds I was particularly intrigued by his noncommittal use of Popperian Cosmology.
While the whole of the book is noteworthy the last chapter and, more precisely, the last section of the last chapter, is astonishing. It is amongst the best example of Tallis' writing. It is profound without loosing relevance, clarity or specificity. Here he describes the origins of the divine in human awareness transcending the particular. This all encompassing transcending experience is shown to be temporally bordered by mortality and arising from, only to escape, biological origins. I would contend that it is a book impossible to close without feeling awestricken.
For all its flaws, I enjoyed grappling with Tallis's book. He is passionate about his subject matter and writes with a contagious sense of intellectual curiosity. This, along with its wealth of interesting ideas, makes for a book that is fun. But it is certainly a missed opportunity.
It is a great pity. The subject of the book is intensely fascinating, worthy of study and debate. What a pity that it fell into the hands of a man on a mission, and a man who either does not understand the purpose of language as a tool for communication or seriously overestimates his ability in the field.
At almost every turn, Mr Tallis fails his argument and the subject. It is quite astonishing how often one finds oneself saying "Go on, go on" as an interesting line of inquiry is raised only to find one's hopes dashed as yet another student-piece of philosophical jargoneering takes the place of compelling reason and evidence. Time and time again, Mr Tallis offers assertions that are either unfounded or just plain wrong outside of his head (example, in relation to signposts "... engagingly, the the gaze of the traveller passing from the beginning to the end of the token reproduces the trajectory linking his present position with his trajectory." Er, no, only in Western languages and then only when the sign is pointing right.)
This is poor stuff. A pity. A wasted opportunity.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have no time for this drivel, I bought the book and read it hoping it would be more than what it was, possibly other people may like it, but I dont think many will, it is a very... Read morePublished on 11 Oct. 2013 by Amazon Customer
For such an apparently simple and ubiquitous activity, about which there would seem to be nothing much controversial or challenging to say, pointing turns out to be quite an... Read morePublished on 23 Oct. 2011 by Sphex
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