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Raymond Tallis

Philosopher, Essayist, Medical Doctor

Raymond C. Tallis is a a retired physician and neuroscientist from Great Britain. His resume boasts titles like philosopher, poet and novelist. He is also a member of the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal College of Physicians and Royal Society of Arts.

Upon graduating from Liverpool College, Tallis gained an Open Scholarship to Keble College, Oxford, where he completed a degree in animal physiology in 1967. He completed his medical degree in 1970 at the University of Oxford and St Thomas’ Hospital in London. From 1996 to 2000, he was Consultant Adviser in Care of the Elderly to the Chief Medical Officer. In 1999-2000, he was Vice-Chairman of the Stroke Task Force of the Advisory Group developing the National Service Framework for Older People. He has been on the Standing Medical Advisory Committee and the Council of the Royal College of Physicians and was secretary of the Joint Specialist Committee of the Royal College on Health Care of the Elderly between 1995 and 2003. Tallis was a member of the Joint Task Force on Partnership in Medicine Taking, established by Alan Milburn, the Secretary of State for Health, in 2001. For three years he was a member of one of the appraisal panels of the National Institute of Clinical Excellence. He retired in 2006 as Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester.

Beyond his medical career, Tallis has published extensively on a large number of topics. For example, in 1988 Professor Tallis published two books critical of the post-structuralist ‘thought’ which had assumed a dominant position in humanities departments: Not Saussure: A Critique of Post-Saussurean Literary Theory, which exposed its shaky philosophical foundations; and In Defence of Realism which defended realistic fiction and, more widely, referential discourse, from ill-conceived attacks by exponents of postmodern ‘Theory’. Theorrhoea and After completed his critique of Theory and explores literature and art from a post-Theory standpoint. His most recent work, In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections makes the case for the ‘articular wonder’ that is philosophical inquiry at its best and, in a series of essays, illustrates the philosophical approach to the phenomena of everyday life.


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Books

Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity

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Michelangelo's Finger: An Exploration of Everyday Transcendence

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In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections

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Hunger (The Art of Living)

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The Explicit Animal: A Defence of Human Consciousness

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Why the Mind is Not a Computer: A Pocket Lexicon of Neuromythology (Societas)

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The Hand: A Philosophical Inquiry into Human Being

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Enemies of Hope: A Critique of Contemporary Pessimism

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Mazel

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On the Edge of Certainty: Philosophical Explorations

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