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In Defence of Wonder and Other Philosophical Reflections

3.92  ·  Rating Details ·  25 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews
In these lively and provocative essays, philosopher, polymath and all-round intellectual heavyweight, Raymond Tallis debunks commonplace truths, exposes woolly thinking and pulls the rug from beneath a wide range of commentator whether scientist, theologian, philosopher, or pundit. Tallis takes to task much of contemporary science and philosophy, arguing that they are guil ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published April 26th 2012 by Acumen Publishing
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Todd
Sep 25, 2013 Todd rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy
I felt he was at his strongest when arguing in the areas of philosophy of science, philosophy of time, and epistemology in general. These areas took up the first 10 or so essays in the book. He presents strong, logical (and perhaps phenomenological) arguments against the scientism of people like Sam Harris, but once he ventures outside of these subjects I found his arguments to be less appealing. For most of the rest of the book (27 essays in total) he wrote from his position of what I would ter ...more
Kristin
A collection of essays by British polymath Raymond Tallis, this book truly does "defend wonder", exploring a huge diversity of topics (among them: physics, language, truth, science and God) and ranges from heavy intellectual treatments on the nature of time to witty (though equally profound) commentary on the when and where of bathroom visits (ie. "pisstemology"). Tallis' speculations are bound by the common theme of combating reductionism and restoring our wonder in the unnoticed complexity of ...more
Russell
Dec 28, 2013 Russell rated it liked it
I remember really liking this book. Then again I only have vague recollections of its specific points. It certainly was energizing to read but such as what happens with books that are short and yet cover a huge horizon it's hard to hang your hat on something in particular. Other than.... We just don't have the answers.
pausetowonder
Oct 26, 2012 pausetowonder rated it really liked it
Sad to finish this one.

This is not a book of empty intellectual fireworks (like that produced by some modern philosophers that shall not be named), but of carefully thought through essays on a wide variety of subjects. Serious, truly interesting and occasionally hilarious.
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“The most extensive and sustained exploration of the world, and the mightiest monument of collective wondering, is, of course, science. Richard Dawkins speaks of 'the feeling of awed wonder' that science can give us and asserts that 'it is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable. It is deep aesthetic passion to rank with the finest music and poetry can deliver'. Anyone who is not acquainted with science - its questions, its answers, the limits to its answers, and honesty about those limits, the brilliance of its methodologies and instruments, its sense of the unanswerable - is denying herself a great opening, a dormer window, in conciousness.” 1 likes
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