Daniel Dennett22 Aug 2004 12:30
There's a party in my mindOne of my favorite writers, whose books have changed my mind about things like what a self really is and whether or not there's free will. He was Quine's student, and I rather expect he'll one day hold a similar position to his teacher's. He now has a homepage of his own.
And the party never stops
Party up there all the time
Gonna party till they drop
See also: Adaptation; Artificial Intelligence; Artificial Life; William Calvin; Cognitive Science; Richard Dawkins (they're thick as thieves); Darwin Machines; Ethics, Game Theory and Biology; Evolution; Evolutionary Epistemology; Evolutionary Psychology; William James (Dennett in a previous incarnation); Julian Jaynes; Memes, and Related Ideas about the Evolution of Culture; Narratives; Nietzsche (whom Dennett calls the "second sociobiologist," the first being Hobbes); Neuroscience; Philosophy of Mind; Possession and Multiple Personality Disorder; Universal Images and Cultural Universals
- Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds [Essay collection, including many of his best pieces, some formerly available at his web-site, like "Real Patterns" (on reductionism and emergent properties, and complexity and cellular automata), "Speaking for Our Selves" (on multiple personality), "The Practical Requirements for Making a Conscious Robot," "Artificial Life as Philosophy," "Information, Technology and the Virtues of Ignorance" (one of the most disturbing things I've ever read about the consequences of computerization), etc. Review: An Attempt to Introduce the Experimental Method of Reasoning into Moral Subjects by your humble narrator]
- Consciousness Explained [Review by Danny Yee]
- Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life [Possibly his best-written book. When it showed up at the local yuppie bookstore, costing what was then a significant fraction of my disposable income, I told myself "I can't afford this" all the way to the cash-register. Reviews by John Maynard Smith and by Danny Yee.]
- Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting [Review by Danny Yee]
- Kinds of Minds [a.k.a. "Dennett for Beginners"]
- A whole bunch of papers from the publications list of the Tufts Center for Cognitive Studies,
which is, in essence, Dennett.
- "Cog as a Thought Experiment"
- "Did HAL Commit Murder?"
- "On Failures of Freedom and the Fear of Science"
- "Faith in the Truth" (Amnesty Lecture, 1997)
- "Fun and Games in Fantasyland", Mind and Language 23 (2008): 25--31 [Controversy with Jerry Fodor over natural selection]
- "Higher-Order Truths about Chmess"
- "Memes and the Exploitation of Imagination"
- "Memes: Myths, Misunderstandings and Misgivings"
- "Postmodernism and Truth"
- "Review of Antonio Damasio, Descartes' Error"
- "Review of Walter Burkert, The Creation of the Sacred"
- "The Self as a Center of Narrative Gravity"
- (ed.) Philosophical Lexicon [Collection of puns on philosophers' names. Samples: "arthurdantist, n. One who straightens the teeth of exotic dogmas. `Little Friedrich used to say the most wonderful things before we took him to the arthurdantist!' --- Frau Nietzsche"; "croce, n. A method of knitting spaghetti; thus, an intricate tangle."; "foucault, n. A howler, an insane mistake. `I'm afraid I've committed an egregious foucault.' "; "marcuse, v. To criticize vehemently from a Marxist perspective. `Je marcuse!' - J. P. Sartre."]
- To read:
- Jeremy C. Ahouse, "The Tragedy of a priori Selectionism: Dennett and Gould on Adaptationism", Biology and Philosophy 13 (1998): 359--391 [Critical piece recommended to me by Milan Cirkovic.]
- Andrew Brook and Don Ross (eds.), Daniel Dennett
- Breaking the Spell
- Freedom Evolves
- The Intentional Stance
- "Notes on Prosthetic Imagination," Boston Review 7(3), pp. 3-7 (= June '82)
- Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness [Blurb]
- Matthew Elton, Daniel Dennett: Reconciling Science and Our Self-Conception