Science and Moral Life   /   Spring 2013   /    Book Reviews

Raymond Tallis’s Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis, and the Misrepresentation of Humanity

Howard L. Kaye

Over  the  last  twenty  years, p h y s i c i a n ,   n e u r o s c i e n t i s t , a n d  p h i l o s o p h e r  R a y m o n d Tallis has produced a series of polemics aimed against those forms of “scientism” and “biol- ogism” that are determined to deny the uniqueness of human nature. Beginning with The Explicit Animal (1991), Tallis has attempted to beat back all assaults on the realities of human consciousness, intentionality, free will, and self-responsibility that have been mounted in the names of computer science, evolutionary theory, and neuro- biology. But like a game of intellectual “whack-a-mole,” new threats keep emerging. Tallis’s most recent work, Aping Mankind  (2011),  represents the culmination of his efforts, synthesizing his previous argu- ments and directing all the intel- lectual firepower he can muster against the latest anti-humanist insurgents—overzealous neuro- scientists  and  evolutionar y psychologists, along with their fellow travelers in the humani- ties and social sciences.

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