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Dennett's views on evolution are identified as being strongly , in line with his theory of the , and the evolutionary views of . In , Dennett showed himself even more willing than Dawkins to defend adaptationism in print, devoting an entire chapter to a criticism of the ideas of Gould. This stems from Gould's long-running public debate with and other evolutionary biologists over human and its descendant , which Gould and opposed, but which Dennett advocated, together with Dawkins and . Strong disagreements have been launched against Dennett from Gould and his supporters, who allege that Dennett overstated his claims and misrepresented Gould's to reinforce what Gould describes as Dennett's "Darwinian fundamentalism".
A few years ago, a Russian venture capitalist named Dmitry Volkov organized a showdown between Dennett and Chalmers near Disko Island, off the west coast of Greenland. Before making a fortune investing in Shazam and in the Russian version of PayPal, Volkov was a graduate student in philosophy at Moscow State University, where he wrote a dissertation on Dennett’s work. Now he chartered a hundred-and-sixty-eight-foot schooner, the S/V Rembrandt van Rijn, and invited Dennett, Chalmers, and eighteen other philosophers on a weeklong cruise, along with ten graduate students. Most of the professional philosophers were materialists, like Dennett, but the graduate students were uncommitted. Dennett and Chalmers would compete for their allegiance.
Daniel C. Dennett: "Thank Goodness!" / Boing Boing
Daniel Clement Dennett (born March 28, 1942 in , ) is an whose research centers on the , and , particularly as those fields relate to and . He is currently the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and a at . Dennett is a noted and as well as being a prominent advocate of the .
Dennett spent part of his childhood in , where, during , his father was a covert counter-intelligence agent with the posing as a cultural attaché to the in . The young Dennett and family returned to Massachusetts in 1947 after his father died in an unexplained plane crash. His sister is the investigative journalist Charlotte Dennett.
Atheist Ethicist: Daniel Dennett: Thank Goodness
That same unwillingness to call believers dumb, even implicitly, underpins the cringe many secularists experience at the term - an adjective turned into a noun by a vibrant community who organise around their . Prominent Brights include atheist pin-ups Dan Dennett, Margaret Downey, and sceptic James Randi.
Dennett has remarked in several places (such as "Self-portrait", in Brainchildren) that his overall philosophical project has remained largely the same since his time at Oxford. He is primarily concerned with providing a that is grounded in research. In his original , Content and Consciousness, he broke up the problem of explaining the mind into the need for a theory of content and for a theory of consciousness. His approach to this project has also stayed true to this distinction. Just as Content and Consciousness has a bipartite structure, he similarly divided Brainstorms into two sections. He would later collect several essays on content in The Intentional Stance and synthesize his views on consciousness into a unified theory in . These volumes respectively form the most extensive development of his views.
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10/05/2007 · Daniel Dennett: Thank Goodness
“No, no!” Dennett exclaimed, as the room erupted into laughter. He’d done it again: in attempting to explain consciousness, he’d explained it away.
Daniel Dennett was invited to give a presentation ..
In the nineteenth century, scientists and philosophers couldn’t figure out how nonliving things became living. They thought that living things possessed a mysterious life force. Only over time did they discover that life was the product of diverse physical systems that, together, created something that appeared magical. Dennett believes that the same story will be told about consciousness. He wants to tell it, but he sometimes wonders if others want to hear it.
The Worrywart: Daniel C. Dennett-Thank Goodness
Late last year, Dennett found himself among such skeptics at the Edgewater Hotel, in Seattle, where the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research had convened a meeting about animal consciousness. The Edgewater was once a rock-and-roll hangout—in the late sixties and seventies, members of Led Zeppelin were notorious for their escapades there—but it’s now plush and sedate, with overstuffed armchairs and roaring fireplaces. In a fourth-floor meeting room with views of Mt. Rainier, dozens of researchers shared speculative work on honeybee brains, mouse minds, octopus intelligence, avian cognition, and the mental faculties of monkeys and human children.
Thank Goodness!!! Daniel Dennett has an …
A few years ago, the Dennetts sold the farm to buy a nearby waterfront home, on Little Deer Isle. On a sunny morning this past December, fresh snow surrounded the house; where the lawn met the water, a Hobie sailboat lay awaiting spring. Dennett entered the sunlit kitchen and, using a special, broad-tined fork, carefully split an English muffin. After eating it with jam, he entered his study, a circular room on the ground floor decorated with sailboat keels of different shapes. A close friend and Little Deer Isle visitor, the philosopher and psychologist Nicholas Humphrey, had e-mailed a draft of an article for Dennett to review. The two men are similar—Humphrey helped discover blindsight, studied apes with Dian Fossey, and was, for a year, the editor of Granta—but they differ on certain points in the philosophy of consciousness. “Until I met Dan,” Humphrey told me, “I never had a philosophical hero. Then I discovered that not only was he a better philosopher than me; he was a better singer, a better dancer, a better tennis player, a better pianist. There is nothing he does not do.”
Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul | The New Yorker
This, to a first approximation, is the secular story of our creation. It has no single author; it’s been written collaboratively by scientists over the past few centuries. If, however, it could be said to belong to any single person, that person might be Daniel Dennett, a seventy-four-year-old philosopher who teaches at Tufts. In the course of forty years, and more than a dozen books, Dennett has endeavored to explain how a soulless world could have given rise to a soulful one. His special focus is the creation of the human mind. Into his own he has crammed nearly every related discipline: evolutionary biology, neuroscience, psychology, linguistics, artificial intelligence. His newest book, “From Bacteria to Bach and Back,” tells us, “There is a winding path leading through a jungle of science and philosophy, from the initial bland assumption that we people are physical objects, obeying the laws of physics, to an understanding of our conscious minds.”
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