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Description - The Knowing Animal by Raymond Tallis

In The Hand, the first volume of his trilogy, Raymond Tallis looked at how humans have overcome the constraints of biology. The second volume, I Am, focused on two crucial aspects of the escape from being a mere organism: selfhood and agency. This, the final volume in the trilogy, argues that knowledge is unique to human beings and sufficiently important to call man 'the knowing animal'. Raymond Tallis examines the profound difference between knowledge 'That things are the case' and mere sentience. He criticises both accounts of knowledge that marginalise the consciousness of the knower and naturalistic accounts that assimilate knowledge to sense experience and, ultimately, neural activity. He argues that knowledge arises because humans are embodied subjects and not just organisms: knowing subjects know both about events in the material world which they can perceive as well as non-material 'facts'. It is because knowledge is relatively 'uncoupled' from the material world that active inquiry, reason-directed behaviour and deliberate manipulation of nature are possible. A critique of evolutionary psychology examines these phenomena and looks at the replacement of animal 'appetites' with propositional 'attitudes', at carnal knowledge and at explicit awareness of death. The various ways humans have dealt with the 'wound' opened in consciousness by knowledge - religion, art and philosophy - are also discussed. The Knowing Animal completes a trilogy that aims to revolutionise our understanding of what it is to be a human being without recourse to theology and supernatural explanations on the one hand or scientism and naturalistic explanations on the other. Features: *The question of humankind's unique ability to know things is covered in this volume and follows on from Ray Tallis' inquiry into humankind's unique 'handedness' (The Hand) and ability to reflect on itself (I Am) - he has explore our ability to know, to hold and handle things and to think of our own being. *The book provides a fascinating philosophical insight about the way humankind comes to know the things it does (as opposed to having sensations) because it (humankind) has awareness of itself. *It also provides a critique of other theories of knowledge. * The book continues Ray Tallis' argument that humans are distinctly different from animals while yet being creatures.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780748619535
ISBN-10: 0748619534
Format: Paperback
(234mm x 156mm x 23mm)
Pages: 336
Imprint: Edinburgh University Press
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Publish Date: 2-Nov-2004
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Raymond Tallis

Raymond Tallis is Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester and Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. Over the last 15 years he has published extensively outside the field of medicine. There have been three books which mount a critique of post-structuralist theory: Not Saussure: A Critique of Post-saussurean Literary Theory (Macmillan, 2nd edn, 1995), In Defence of Realism (Arnold & University of Nebraska Press, 2nd edn, 1998) and Theorrhoea and After (Macmillan, 1998). He has also published four books in the philosophy of mind: The Explicit Animal: A Defence of Human Consciousness (Macmillan, 1991), The Pursuit of Mind (co-edited with Howard Robinson, Carcanet, 1991), Psycho Electronics (Ferrington, 1994) and On the Edge of Certainty and Other Essays (Macmillan, 1999). Further books include Newton's Sleep: The Two Cultures and the Two Kingdoms (Macmillan, 1995), Enemies of Hope: A Critique of Contemporary Pessimism (Macmillan, 1997) and A Conversation with Martin Heidegger (Macmillan (Palgrave), 2002). An anthology of his theoretical writing - The Raymond Tallis Reader, edited by Michael Grant - was published by Macmillan (Palgrave) in 2000. He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters (hon causa) at the University of Hull in 1997 for his non-medical writings and the degree of Doctor of Letters (hon causa) at the University of Manchester in 2003 for 'contributions to literary theory and our understanding of human consciousness'. The Knowing Animal is the final volume in the trilogy of books for EUP which began with The Hand and continued with I Am.

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