No, it’s no good, I must stop reading the stuff that Mark Vernon is prone to write (and, I might add, get paid for!). It’s not good for my spleen.
This time he’s using some philosophical fenceplay from Raymond Tallis as an excuse to trot out his (Vernon’s) own earnestly desired wish that we are not just wetware, meat machines; that consciousness simply has to be more than just neurons firing.
While I rather like the work of Tallis as an author and philosopher, it does strike me that he’s got a book to sell (Aping Mankind), so coining terms such as neuromania and Darwinitis may be good for the book sales, rather than having any real basis behind them. I note also that his book has garnered glowing reviews from the likes of Roger Scruton and Mary Midgley – neither of whom I count for much when it comes to the field of science. And on the basis of this article, that goes for Mark Vernon as well.