Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the by Raymond Tallis

By Raymond Tallis

In a devastating critique Raymond Tallis exposes the exaggerated claims made for the facility of neuroscience and evolutionary idea to give an explanation for human awareness, behaviour, tradition and society.

While conveniently acknowledging the mind-blowing development neuroscience has made in supporting us know how the mind works, Tallis directs his weapons at neuroscience’s darkish spouse – "Neuromania" as he describes it – the assumption that mind job isn't really simply an important yet a enough for human attention and that for that reason our daily behaviour could be totally understood in neural phrases.

With the bold acuity and precision of either clinician and thinker, Tallis dismantles the concept that "we are our brains", which has given upward thrust to a plethora of neuro-prefixed pseudo-disciplines laying declare to give an explanation for every little thing from artwork and literature to illegal activity and non secular trust, and exhibits it to be pressured and improper, and an abuse of the status of technology, person who sidesteps a complete diversity of mind–body difficulties.

The trust that humans will be understood basically in organic phrases is a significant predicament, argues Tallis, to transparent puzzling over what humans are and what they may turn into. to give an explanation for daily behaviour in Darwinian phrases and to spot human attention with the job of the advanced mind denies human distinctiveness, and through minimising the variations among us and our nearest animal relations, misrepresents what we're, supplying a grotesquely simplified and degrading account of humanity. we're, exhibits Tallis, infinitely extra attention-grabbing and complicated than we look within the replicate of biologism.

Combative, fearless and consistently thought-provoking, Aping Mankind is a vital publication, one who scientists, cultural commentators and policy-makers can't forget about.

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Extra resources for Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity

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Unpacking the action potential depended, among other things, on finding species in which the individual neurons were large enough for recordings of minute changes in electrical charge – a few tens of millivolts – to be made. The squid axon, which is a gigantic half millimetre wide (compared with a few thousandths of a millimetre in most human neurons), proved to be the perfect model. Even so, it was still necessary to develop minute recording electrodes that would not kill the axons when they were inserted into them.

The physics is immensely complex but the underlying principles can be described quite briefly. The key to MRI is that bodily tissues – including neural tissue – are mainly water, which, having the chemical composition H2O, contains two hydrogen nuclei or protons. When tissues are placed in a powerful magnetic field the hydrogen nuclei are aligned along the lines of force in the field. If a radiofrequency electromagnetic field is then switched on and off the protons release energy, which can be detected by the scanner.

21. Greenfield, ID: The Quest for Identity in the 21st Century. Greenfield elaborates on this assertion and its psychological and sociological consequences. 22. Plin. HN XI, 49. 30 SCIENCE AND SCIENTISM Bramhall to experience the delights of that village. So there seems to be an intimate relation between the physical location of my brain and the content of my consciousness. The key role of the brain is supported by other homely observations that seem to suggest that the input of energy into my brain from the outside world determines my experiences.

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