Professor Raymond Tallis
31 January 2019
“Human beings are neither disembodied spirits nor ghosts in biological machines. We are, as many philosophers, notably Merleau-Ponty, have argued ‘embodied subjects’: the subject and the body are like the recto and verso of a sheet of paper.
Nevertheless, the relationship between the ‘I am’ of the person and the ‘It is’ of the body is very complex. I will discuss different aspects of this relationship. In addition, I will examine how our experience of embodiment may be the basis of our sense of the reality of extra-corporeal material objects as existing independently of our experiences.”
About the speaker:
Raymond Tallis was professor of geriatric medicine at the University of Manchester and a consultant physician in the healthcare of the elderly in Salford. His national roles have included: consultant advisor in the healthcare of the elderly to the Chief Medical Officer; a key part in developing the National Service Framework for Older People; membership of the NICE appraisal committee; chairman of the Royal College of Physicians committee on ethics in medicine; chairman of the review committee for ethics support for front-line clinicians.
Professor Tallis retired from full-time medicine in 2008 to focus on his writing: he has published over thirty non-medical books including fiction and poetry in addition to works on philosophy of the mind, philosophical anthropology, literary theory, the nature of art and cultural criticism. As a philosopher Professor Tallis’s writings describe an anthropology that acknowledges what is distinctive and remarkable about human beings. To this end he has written a trilogy of books entitled ‘The Hand’, ‘I am: a Philosophical Enquiry into First-Person Being’ and ‘The Knowing Animal’.