Review of “The Mystery of Being Human” by Raymond Tallis, TLS, 15/02/17

Here is a review of a book by the retired physician Raymond Tallis, mainly on philosophical themes but with a longish essay on what Tallis sees as the destruction of the NHS. I thought that this essay, passionate though it was, did not quite cohere with the rest of the book. In due course I will post more on this, as the review is behind a paywall at the TLS site I will hold off a little…

Séamus Sweeney

Behind a paywall online, I have a review of Raymond Tallis’ The Mystery of Being Human : God,Freedom and the NHS, in the current TLS.

Here’s the bit that you don’t have to pay to see:

An atheist since his teens, the philosopher and retired physician Raymond Tallis increasingly describes himself as a “secular humanist” because, as “believers point out with a regularity that I am inclined to call monotonous . . . ‘atheism’ is a negative term”. His philosophical project is defined by a focus on the richness and mystery of human experience, which he identifies not only as an antidote to religious dogma but to all systems that tend towards reductionism. Tallis’s passion for freedom, with a corresponding determination to face fully “the mystery of being human” without illusions or false consolation, is evident throughout.

Paradoxically, however, much of his writing collected here is devoted to debunking…

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