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Animal Beliefs

Thursday 30 April, 4pm, H1.48, Humanities

Professor Raymond Tallis will be at the University to give this talk: "Darwinism seems to some thinkers to oblige us to deny or minimise the differences between human and animal consciousness. One symptom of this is the tendency to ascribe human mental capacities, such as the holding of beliefs, to animals. The reasons why we should not believe that animals are capable of beliefs will be discussed. They cast an interesting light on our own, unique, nature and our distance from beasts."

The talk will take place at 4pm in H1.48, Humanities. It will be preceded by tea from 3.30pm in the Common Room, H1.45.

About Raymond Tallis

Raymond Tallis is a Professor of Geriatric Medicine at University of Manchester, a position he has held since 1987, and is a Consultant in Health Care of Older People at Salford Royal Hospitals Trust.

He is a leading figure in British gerontology and has been awarded many prizes and Visiting Professorships, including most recently the Dhole-Eddleston Memorial Prize for his medical writing about the care of older people. His major research interests are in stroke, epilepsy and neurological rehabilitation and he was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in acknowledgement of this work.

For 30 years Raymond has been rising at five in the morning to write for two hours before going off to work as a doctor. He has been a GP, a research scientist, and a professor of gerontology, one of Britain's leading experts, who has published more than 70 scientific papers and co-edited a 1,500-page standard textbook of gerontological medicine. But he is also a distinguished literary critic, poet and philosopher who has written a radio play about the death of Wittgenstein. David Goodhart, editor of Prospect magazine, says: "Ray is probably unique in British intellectual culture in being able to contribute not only in his own technical specialism but also to write with authority and elegance about everything from evolutionary psychology to Heidegger."