Lunar Society annual lecture 2013
Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity
Raymond Tallis Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester, poet, novelist, and all-round polymath will give the prestigious Lunar Society Annual Lecture in 2013.
Increasingly, it is assumed that human beings are best understood in biological terms; that, notwithstanding the apparent differences between humans and their nearest animal kin, people are, at bottom, organisms; that individual persons are their brains, and that societies are best understood as collections of brains (“Neuromania”); and that we should look to evolutionary theory to understand what we are now (“Darwinitis”); that our biological roots explain our cultural leaves. Professor Tallis will argue that we are not just our brains; rather we belong to a community of minds that has grown up over the hundreds of thousands of years since we parted company from the other primates. The gap between our nearest animal kin and ourselves is too wide to read across from the one to the other.
Raymond Tallis will draw from his book 'Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity’ (2011), and a dozen other philosophical books he has written on human nature that hold adventurous theories about the evolution of human consciousness.