Against Biologism: Neuromania and Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Mankind
Wednesday 31 October 2012
Café Culture in Durham, The Cafe on the Green, Durham City 7-9pm
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 people are their brains, and that societies are best understood as collections of brains. We are also told we should look to evolutionary theory to understand what we are now; that our biological roots explain our cultural leaves.
Raymond 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. He will argue that the gap between our nearest animal kin and ourselves is too wide to read across from the one to the other.
Is it time? Projects Galore and Cafe Culture North East invites you to a convivial evening of discussion and debate with Professor Raymond Tallis, philosopher, poet, novelist, cultural critic and until recently physician and clinical scientist, at the Cafe on the Green in Durham City.
Is it time? is a multi-artform, multi-disciplinary project that will involve academics, artists, cultural organisations, communities and the general public in a range of interactive activities, performances and events in County Durham between October/November 2012 and June/July 2013. People will be invited to consider and respond to key issues of the past and present and identify and offer solutions to the big issues of the future. The project has been developed in partnership with three Durham University departments – English, Archaeology and Theology – through the Institute of Advanced Study, and is led and managed by Projects Galore. Is it time? is supported by Arts Council England, the Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University, County Durham Cultural Partnership, Lindisfarne Gospels Durham and New Writing North.
Café on the Greenis located on Palace Green, Durham City DH1 3RL. For a map click here. You can enjoy refreshments in the café before the event or snacks and refreshments during the event when we have a short break. This venue has wheelchair access. This Cafe Culture event will start at 7 p.m. and will finish at 9 p.m. We advise you to arrive early as places at this event are strictly limited, you will be able to arrive from 5.30pm.
On In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections:‘Tallis…is a high achiever with a range of expertise that would leave Jonathan Miller gasping’ – Walter Eltis, The Sunday Times
Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity, published in June 2011, gives a critique which exposes the exaggerated claims made for the ability of neuroscience and evolutionary theory to explain human consciousness, behaviour, culture and society. It was chosen as one of the Books of the Year 2011 in the Guardian (David Lodge), Observer, and Evening Standard (George Walden).
Raymond Tallis trained as a doctor at the University of Oxford and St. Thomas’s hospital. Since 1987 he has been Professor and a consultant physician in Health Care of the Elderly in Salford. Over the last fifteen years, he has written extensively outside of medicine. He has published short stories and poetry and given reflections on art and science and discussions of the philosophy of mind. He was recently described in The Times Education Supplement as ‘one of the most intriguing figures in the current intellectual scene’. He was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters by the University of Hull in 1997 for his contributions to literary scholarship