First published in 2011. Neuroscience has made astounding progress in the understanding of the brain. What should we make of its claims to go beyond the brain and explain consciousness, behaviour and culture? Where should we draw the line? In this brilliant critique Raymond Tallis dismantles "Neuromania", arising out of the idea that we are reducible to our brains and "Darwinitis" according to which, since the brain is an evolved organ, we are entirely explicable within an evolutionary framework. With precision and acuity he argues that the belief that human beings can be understood in biological terms is a serious obstacle to clear thinking about what we are and what we might become. Neuromania and Darwinitis deny human uniqueness, minimise the differences between us and our nearest animal kin and offer a grotesquely simplified account of humanity. We are, argues Tallis, infinitely more interesting and complex than we appear in the mirror of biology.
Combative, fearless and thought-provoking, Aping Mankind is an important book and one that scientists, cultural commentators and policy-makers cannot ignore.
This Routledge Classics edition includes a new preface by the Author.
Preface to the Routledge Classics Edition
1. Science and Scientism
3. Neuromania: A Castle Built on Sand
4. From Darwinism to Darwinitis
5. Bewitched by Language
6. The Sighted Watchmaker
7. Restoring Humanity
8. Defending the Humanities
9. Back to the Drawing Board
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Raymond Tallis trained as a doctor before going on to become Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester, UK. 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. His most recent works include Epimethean Imaginings (2014) and The Black Mirror (2015).