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It is a common and dangerous mistake to think that our minds are no more than electrical pulses in our brains

By Raymond Tallis   June 2011

Not all wrong ideas are worth contesting. They are too numerous and will anyway soon disappear, displaced for the most part by other wrong ideas. There are some, however, that cannot be ignored. Those that misrepresent matters of supreme importance, or get in the way of our thinking about them clearly, or are widely accepted, or may have serious consequences, must be challenged.

One idea that ticks all these boxes is the notion that human beings are, in essence, animals; or, at the very least, much more beast-like than we have hitherto thought. It leads to claims, to name a…

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