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We were fortunate to be joined at Book club by Ray Tallis, emeritus professor of geriatrics, poet and philosopher, to discuss his book Michelangelo’s Finger (figure 1).1 Professor Tallis first conceived the book as a junior doctor in 1974 and has thought carefully about these ideas over many years of clinical practice. The book examines of the act of pointing and why it is unique to humans. Tallis uses this apparently insignificant act as the springboard for a wider discussion of what makes us human. Although the book differs from those we have previously discussed, being primarily a philosophical text, it generated a wide-ranging conversation, augmented by having the author at hand to respond to our comments.
In essence, there are two …