Daniel C. Dennett

The philosopher DANIEL C. DENNETT is perhaps best known in cognitive science for his concept of intentional systems, and his multiple drafts (or “fame in the brain”) model of human consciousness, which sketches a computational architecture for realizing the stream of consciousness (the “Joycean machine”) in the massively parallel cerebral cortex.

His uncompromising computationalism has been opposed by philosophers such as John Searle and Jerry Fodor who maintain that the most important aspects of consciousness — intentionality and subjective quality — can never be computed. He is the philosopher of choice of the AI community.

He is also a major contributor to the understanding of the conceptual foundations of evolutionary biology. In Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, he argued that the “universal acid” of evolutionary explanation extends well beyond biology to re-conceptualize culture and science itself, and exposed some of the internal conflicts and misconstruals in the contrary claims of Stephen Jay Gould.

Daniel C. Dennett is University Professor, Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He is the author of Content and Consciousness; Brainstorms; Elbow Room; The Intentional Stance; Consciousness Explained; Darwin's Dangerous Idea; Kinds of Minds; Brainchildren; Freedom Evolves; Sweet Dreams; and Breaking the Spell.

He co-edited The Mind's I with Douglas Hofstadter and he is the author of over three hundred scholarly articles on various aspects on the mind, published in journals ranging from "Artificial Intelligence" and "Behavioral and Brain Sciences" to "Poetics Today" and the" Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism".

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