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Daniel C. Dennett (1) (1942–2024)

Autor(a) de Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

Para outros autores com o nome Daniel C. Dennett, ver a página de desambiguação.

30+ Works 18,621 Membros 210 Críticas 2 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Credit: David Orban, 2006

Obras por Daniel C. Dennett

Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (2006) 2,950 exemplares, 37 críticas
Consciousness Explained (1991) 2,929 exemplares, 36 críticas
The Mind's I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul (1981) — Editor — 2,821 exemplares, 22 críticas
Freedom Evolves (2003) 1,464 exemplares, 17 críticas
Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking (2013) 980 exemplares, 14 críticas
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds (2017) 670 exemplares, 13 críticas
Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (1984) 477 exemplares, 4 críticas
Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds (1998) 326 exemplares, 5 críticas
The Intentional Stance (1987) 284 exemplares
Content and Consciousness (1969) 141 exemplares

Associated Works

The Extended Phenotype: The Long Reach of the Gene (1982) — Posfácio, algumas edições1,552 exemplares, 11 críticas
This Will Make You Smarter: New Scientific Concepts to Improve Your Thinking (2012) — Contribuidor — 807 exemplares, 17 críticas
The Oxford Book of Modern Science Writing (2008) — Contribuidor — 807 exemplares, 6 críticas
Darwin (Norton Critical Edition) (1970) — Contribuidor, algumas edições661 exemplares, 4 críticas
What Is Your Dangerous Idea? Today's Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable (1914) — Contribuidor — 632 exemplares, 8 críticas
The Mystery of Consciousness (1997) — Contribuidor — 448 exemplares, 4 críticas
Philosophy of Mind: Classical and Contemporary Readings (2002) — Contribuidor — 293 exemplares, 1 crítica
The Cambridge Companion to Atheism (2007) — Contribuidor — 248 exemplares
Philosophers without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life (2007) — Contribuidor — 230 exemplares, 2 críticas
The New Humanists: Science at the Edge (2003) — Contribuidor — 230 exemplares
A Glorious Accident: Understanding Our Place in the Cosmic Puzzle (1993) — Contribuidor — 222 exemplares, 6 críticas
Stepping Through the Stargate: Science, Archaeology and the Military in Stargate SG1 (2004) — Contribuidor — 104 exemplares, 1 crítica
Explaining Consciousness: The Hard Problem (1997) — Contribuidor — 82 exemplares
Speculations: The Reality Club (1988) — Contribuidor — 74 exemplares
Leaps of Faith: Science, Miracles, and the Search for Supernatural Consolation (1996) — Prefácio, algumas edições63 exemplares
The Crucible of Consciousness: An Integrated Theory of Mind and Brain (1999) — Prefácio, algumas edições56 exemplares, 2 críticas
Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning (2015) — Prefácio — 33 exemplares, 2 críticas
Cosmos & Culture : Cultural Evolution in a Cosmic Context (2009) — Contribuidor — 25 exemplares
Feeling Pain and Being in Pain (2007) — Prefácio — 24 exemplares, 1 crítica
Is the Visual World a Grand Illusion? (2002) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
Mind and Consciousness: 5 Questions (2009) — Contribuidor — 11 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Whether or not you agree with Dennet, this is one of the most satisfying philosophical romps across the land of consciousness investigation. His detailed thinking that often requires focused complete attention, and other less
often heard stories from many connected fields, blend into a book that is somewhete between an academic study synthesis of his work and an accessible popular science book.

I was transformed in my detailed view, would want to reread this with even more attention.
yates9 | 35 outras críticas | Feb 28, 2024 |
Gregg Caruso argues that determinism and free will are incompatible. He describes himself as a ‘free-will sceptic’. He says that nothing we do is within our control and in consequence praise and blame, reward and punishment are all equally undeserved. ‘Constitutive Luck’ determines our genetic endowments and nurture. ‘Present Luck’ determines all that follows; our achievements, failures, crimes and their social outcomes. There may be a utilitarian payoff when we punish people for the crimes they have committed, but the infliction of punishment can only be justified when it serves as an effective warning to reduce future offending. Blame for past wrongdoing is unjustifiable. Daniel Dennett disagrees. He argues that determinism and free will are compatible and that punishment for wrongdoing is deserved when it is within the agent’s control. He contends that the capacity for control that most people acquire with maturity justifies punishment in some form or another for their wrongdoing. Clearly Caruso and Dennett mean something different when they refer to the ‘control’ required for free will. Their three ‘exchanges’ on the question whether we do have free will consist for the most part of a wrangle over definitions. They conclude their debate with confessions of mutual incomprehension and disappointment over their failure to achieve a resolution of their differences.(174-5) That need not detract from an appreciation of ‘Just Deserts’, if you enjoy lively argumentation.
Though Dennett and Caruso have equal billing as authors, the structure of their book gives Caruso a head start. Derk Pereboom, co-author with Caruso in a more recent work (‘Moral Responsibility Reconsidered’, 2022), writes the Foreword and Caruso writes the Introduction, which concludes with a ‘List of Useful Definitions’. The definitions, in particular, Caruso’s definition of ‘Basic Desert Moral Responsibility’ are the subject of contention throughout.
Though Caruso argues that praise and blame, reward and punishment are all equally inconsistent with determinism, his exchanges with Dennett focus with obsessive concern on the imputation of blame and infliction of punishment. This is a very American focus of concern. Both philosophers are painfully aware of the punitive excesses of American criminal law and penal practice, which support an incarceration rate beyond that of any comparable democracy. Caruso proposes complete abandonment of both criminal law and penal sanctions and their replacement by a ‘public-health quarantine’ system that would be entirely prospective in its operation and limited to necessary and proportionate measures to avert further harm. Dennett would retain the criminal law and penal sanctions for conduct deserving punishment. It would be however, a civilised and reformed criminal version of the criminal law. He briefly recommends ‘a humanised prison system’ along Scandinavian lines. Both propose policies that would mitigate the criminogenic effects of existing levels of inequality, deprivation and absence of opportunity. Neither of their visions of the future for the criminal law seems remotely likely to eventuate in the current state of American politics and constitutional law.
Two more immediate areas of concern about free will, determinism and agency are neglected in their exchanges. For Caruso, determinism and free-will scepticism has the consequence that the ‘reactive attitudes’ of resentment and indignation in response to wrongful conduct by others are unjustifiable – though understandable. The second neglected area of concern is whether praise and reward for successful achievement can ever be justified.
There are intermittent references to the reactive attitudes. Caruso suggests at one point that resentment and indignation in response to wrongdoing are irrational and unjustifiable for a determinist, though perhaps ‘beyond our power to affect’. Later he suggests that conversion to Buddhist ethics might inspire a salutary transformation of our-selves.(91) He has considered the reactive attitudes more extensively elsewhere so it is unnecessary to say more of them in this review. Martha Nussbaum, ‘Anger and Forgiveness: Resentment, Generosity, Justice’ (2018) provides a gracefully fluent consideration of the perils of indulgence in resentment, indignation and anger in law, politics and our lives. But her argument.is not based on determinism and she accepts that denunciation of past wrongdoing can be appropriate as a prelude to sanctions.
Even more neglected in the exchanges between Caruso and Dennett is the relationship between determinism and praiseworthy conduct. Caruso lumps praise and blame together from the outset with his blanket statement that we are never ‘truly deserving of blame and praise, punishment and reward’ because ‘everything we do and the way we are is ultimately the result of factors beyond our control’.(19) If it were implemented, his suggested principle would have profound implications for those existing social institutions, far more extensive in their reach than the criminal law, in which praise and rewards for successful achievement are central. Consider, for example, Eliud Kipchoge’s gold medal for the marathon in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Must we conclude that Kipchoge’s marathon winning performance, like a murderer’s fatal assault on his victim, was ‘ultimately a result of factors beyond [his] control,’ with the consequence that praise or reward were not ‘truly deserved’?” That is the apparent result of Caruso’s free will scepticism: the one-two punch of constitutive luck…and present luck…completely undermine basic-desert moral responsibility’.(24-5).
Dennett’s response, frequent and insistent, is that blame and desert are anchored ‘in the everyday decisions and distinctions we make when evaluating our own and other people’s behaviour’.(73-4). In consequence, ‘the sense of “desert” that I defend is the everyday sense in which, when you win the race fair and square you deserve the blue ribbon or gold medal….and if you committed premeditated murder, you deserve to go to prison for a very long time’.(26)
The notion of ‘basic desert moral responsibility’, which appears in Caruso’s opening List of Useful Definitions’, remains problematic throughout.
It was inevitable that rising levels of inequality and the consequential diminution of opportunities for disadvantaged communities in western democracies would encourage free will scepticism. The severity of the criminal law and its disproportionate and racist impact on those disadvantaged communities is a spur to empathy and sympathetic resentment on their behalf. It is very far from clear however, that abandonment of the principle that we will be held responsible for what we will do next would reduce current levels of inequity and injustice.
… (mais)
Pauntley | 2 outras críticas | Feb 9, 2024 |
This book was just heavier lifting than I am currently inclined to attempt. I hope to get back to it someday.
Treebeard_404 | 16 outras críticas | Jan 23, 2024 |
"Meaning, consciousness, and free will are entirely natural achievements, ... the product of billions of years of natural selection" (p 386). And religious faith is a "cognitive disability" that gives people a "gold-plated excuse to stop thinking" (p 391). Right on! In this terrific memoir, veteran Tufts-University philosopher Dennett provides a lot of background detail for his influential works of the past, including the books _Consciousness Explained_ (the first one read by me), _Darwin's Dangerous Idea_, _Freedom Evolves_, _Breaking the Spell_, and _From Bacteria to Bach and Back_. Much more about his professional activities and travels is recounted, mixed in with accounts of personal pursuits such as farming and sailing.… (mais)
fpagan | Jan 2, 2024 |



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