By Raymond Tallis
In a devastating critique Raymond Tallis exposes the exaggerated claims made for the facility of neuroscience and evolutionary idea to provide an explanation for human recognition, behaviour, tradition and society.
While with no trouble acknowledging the spectacular growth neuroscience has made in aiding us know the way the mind works, Tallis directs his weapons at neuroscience’s darkish significant other – "Neuromania" as he describes it – the idea that mind job isn't really basically an important yet a enough situation for human awareness and that for this reason our daily behaviour could be completely understood in neural phrases.
With the ambitious acuity and precision of either clinician and thinker, Tallis dismantles the concept that "we are our brains", which has given upward push to a plethora of neuro-prefixed pseudo-disciplines laying declare to provide an explanation for every little thing from paintings and literature to criminal activity and non secular trust, and indicates it to be stressed and unsuitable, and an abuse of the status of technological know-how, one who sidesteps a complete diversity of mind–body difficulties.
The trust that humans might be understood primarily in organic phrases is a significant challenge, argues Tallis, to transparent puzzling over what humans are and what they may turn into. to provide an explanation for daily behaviour in Darwinian phrases and to spot human attention with the job of the advanced mind denies human specialty, and by means of minimising the variations among us and our nearest animal family members, misrepresents what we're, delivering a grotesquely simplified and degrading account of humanity. we're, indicates Tallis, infinitely extra attention-grabbing and complicated than we look within the reflect of biologism.
Combative, fearless and continually thought-provoking, Aping Mankind is a crucial ebook, person who scientists, cultural commentators and policy-makers can't forget about.
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Additional info for Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity
When an individual learns to play the violin, the representation of the hands in the cerebral cortex – the part of 14. , Plasticity and the Adult Brain. 15 What is more, the representation of the hand (usually the left hand) involved in ﬁngering is greater than that involved in bowing. This makes intuitive sense because although both ﬁngering and bowing are immensely skilled and require precise adjustment of pressure, ﬁngering makes even greater demands than the whole-arm and hand movements of bowing.
Crick who, having made the fundamental discovery with James Watson of the structure of DNA, along with many other contributions to molecular biology, turned to thinking about the neurology of consciousness. ”). Other places have been suggested, such as the subthalamic nucleus, between the cerebral hemispheres and the brain stem. As we shall see in “Brain science and human consciousness, III” in Chapter 3, attempts to ﬁnd some kind of brain basis for the unity of consciousness are doomed. 35 APING MANKIND correlations were supplemented by careful microscopic studies of individual cell types in the cortex, which seemed to provide a detailed structural underpinning for localization of functions.
But the trend was irresistible. Early in the twenty-ﬁrst century, with the advent of modern methods of stimulating and recording from the central nervous system, of delineating its multifarious internal anatomical and physiological connections and of imaging the living brain using a variety of techniques, we are now truly in a neo-phrenological era in which it seems as if every discernible mental function has its own dedicated piece of circuitry. Today’s neo-phrenology is, of course, diﬀerent from the old phrenology of Gall and his collaborator Johann Spurzheim.
Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity by Raymond Tallis