Watch: Ray Tallis on Freedom: an impossible reality (April 2022)

The question of free will has preoccupied philosophers for millennia. In recent years the debate has been reinvigorated by the findings of neuroscience and, for some, the notion that we have free will has finally been laid to rest. Not so, says Raymond Tallis. In his quest to reconcile our practical belief in our own agency with our theoretical doubts, Tallis will advance powerful arguments for the reality of freedom. He will challenge the idea that we are imprisoned by laws of nature that wire us into a causally closed world. He will aim to shows that our capacity to discover and exploit these laws is central to understanding the nature of voluntary action and to reconciling free will with our status as material beings.

We had a fantastic talk and discussion with Ray over Zoom, in which he explained his theory of free will very clearly, and engaged with energy and imagination in the discussion afterwards. You can watch our recording and the discussion now:

You can get 25% off Ray's book by using the code AGENDA25 on the publisher's website.

Raymond Tallis trained in medicine at Oxford University and at St Thomas’ Hospital London before becoming Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Manchester. He was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences for his research in clinical neuroscience and he has played a key role in developing guidelines for the care of stroke patients in the UK. From 2011–14 he was Chair of Healthcare Professionals for Assisted Dying. He retired from medicine in 2006 to become a full-time writer. His books have ranged across many subjects – from philosophical anthropology to literary and cultural criticism – but all are characterised by a fascination for the infinite complexity of human lives and the human condition. The Economist’s Intelligent Life magazine lists him as one of the world’s leading polymaths.

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