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Daniel C. Dennett (1) (1942–)

Author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

For other authors named Daniel C. Dennett, see the disambiguation page.

41+ Works 18,155 Members 206 Reviews 1 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Credit: David Orban, 2006

Works by Daniel C. Dennett

Consciousness Explained (1991) 2,853 copies
Freedom Evolves (2003) 1,440 copies
The Intentional Stance (1987) 276 copies

Associated Works

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (1982) — Afterword, some editions — 1,515 copies
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contributor — 790 copies
Darwin (Norton Critical Edition) (1970) — Contributor, some editions — 642 copies
The Mystery of Consciousness (1997) — Contributor — 435 copies
Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings (2002) — Contributor — 281 copies
The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (2007) — Contributor — 240 copies
The New Humanists: Science at the Edge (2003) — Contributor — 230 copies
Explaining Consciousness: The Hard Problem (1997) — Contributor — 81 copies
Speculations: The Reality Club (1988) — Contributor — 73 copies
The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain (1999) — Foreword, some editions — 54 copies
Alan Turing: His Work and Impact (2013) — Contributor — 34 copies
Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning (2015) — Foreword — 30 copies
Feeling Pain and Being in Pain (2007) — Foreword — 23 copies
Cosmos & Culture : Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context (2009) — Contributor — 23 copies
Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion? (2002) — Contributor — 22 copies
Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions (2009) — Contributor — 10 copies


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Common Knowledge



Many thanks to the other reviewers, some of whom have summarized this complex back and forth much better than I could. Determinism certainly seems to exclude free will, yet I find Dennett's comments attractive. As Sir Thomas More says to William Roper in Robert Bolt's "A Man for All Seasons",
"This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man's laws, not God's! And if you cut them down, and you're just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then?".… (more)
markm2315 | 1 other review | Sep 23, 2023 |
Boring and bad Writing Style. Don't look for thinking tools! this book is more about thought experiment.
point5a | 13 other reviews | Sep 8, 2023 |
'You can't do much carpentry with your bare hands, and you can't do much thinking with your bare brain.'

'The aim of philosophy, abstractly formulated, is to understand how things in the broadest possible sense of the term hang together in the broadest possible sense of the term.'

The solutions to the most difficult questions in existence, about the universe, life, meaning, free will and consciousness are not intuitive. If they were, we would've figured them out long ago. Daniel Dennett's book offers a plethora of Thinking Tools drawn from computer science, biology and many other realms which, like the apps on your phone, give you the power to do more things better - to think difficults thoughts more easily, and even tackle the most difficult questions about meaning and consciousness. It's designed to change your way of thinking and to nudge you out of some ultimately wrong intuitions you may hold. It is basically a summary of his life's work.

I think Dennett's toolkit, which is made out of many thought experiments ('Intuition Pumps') and more, is extremely useful for any aspiring thinker, whether you agree with him or not.
… (more)
MeisterKleister | 13 other reviews | Jul 26, 2023 |
"This book began with a host of questions, and -- since this is a book by a philosopher -- it ends not with the answers, but, I hope, with better versions of the questions themselves." p 168.

One of my favorite non-fiction books ever. It cleared my thoughts about minds by showing me which ideas / questions even make sense or not and why. I have watched many lectures by Dennett before reading the book, so I knew what I was getting into.

This is one book I love to re-read over and over again.… (more)
MeisterKleister | 7 other reviews | Jul 26, 2023 |



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