Criticizes attempts to "biologize" consciousness by explaining its origin in evolutionary terms and identifying mental phenomena with brain processes, to "computerize" it by identifying mind with the supposed computational activity of the brain, and to eliminate it by denying the reality of qualia.
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There has been an extraordinary resurgence of interest in the enigma of human consciousness among neuroscientists, psychologists and professional philosophers, for whom the philosophy of mind has displaced the philosophy of language as the central preoccupation. Much work is aimed at accommodating consciousness within the currently dominant physicalist world picture. The Explicit Animal is a comprehensive and sometimes impassioned attack on attempts to 'biologise' consciousness by explaining its origin in evolutionary terms and identifying mental phenomena with brain processes; to 'computerise' it by identifying mind with the supposed computational activity of the brain; and to empty or eliminate it by denying the reality of qualia. Raymond Tallis's critique concludes with a long look at man -- 'the explicit animal' -- that makes the irreducible mystery of human consciousness impossible to overlook or deny. Future attempts to eliminate or marginalise consciousness or to accommodate it to the physicalist world picture will have to answer the arguments of this book.About the Author:
RAYMOND TALLIS was recently described in The Times Higher Educational Supplement as 'one of the most intriguing figures in the current intellectual scene'. Trained as a doctor at Oxford University and St.Thomas' Hospital, he has written extensively outside of medicine of the last 15 years. He has published short stories and poetry, and been recognized for his critiques of post-Saussurean thought, his reflections on art and science, and his discussions of the philosophy of mind. He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Hull in 1997 for his contributions to literary scholarship. Since 1987 he has been Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester and a consultant physician in Health Care of the elderly in Salford.
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