My philosopher friends do not much like Raymond Tallis, the distinguished gerontologist who upon retirement has become a prolific amateur philosopher. They find his style of argument at once flippant, crude, condescending and metaphysically pretentious. Yet that seems also to be the norm for the professional philosophers who write about Tallis’s favourite topic, the mind–body problem. Tallis is no more flippant than Jerry Fodor, no cruder than Patricia Churchland, no more condescending than Daniel Dennett and certainly no more pretentious than Thomas Nagel. And he is just as well-informed and clear a writer as all of them. My friends are simply jealous.
Moreover, Tallis has turned his outsider status to good effect, casting a plague on both houses of contemporary professional philosophy, the continental and the analytic. They stand accused of dissolving the ontological integrity of the human being: the continental with the semantic drift of words in hopeless pursuit