Skip to content

NYTimes – interview with philopher Daniel Dennett on the nature of human consciouness

May 2, 2013

The New York Times has an interview with Daniel Dennett a philospopher who has written extensively about human consciousness and the relation between mind and brain. He takes a very iconoclastic and rationalist approach.

Mr. Dennett, the co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University and perhaps America’s most widely read (and debated) living philosopher,

The new book, largely adapted from previous writings, is also a lively primer on the radical answers Mr. Dennett has elaborated to the big questions in his nearly five decades in philosophy, delivered to a popular audience in books like “Consciousness Explained”(1991), “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” (1995) and “Freedom Evolves.”

The mind? A collection of computerlike information processes, which happen to take place in carbon-based rather than silicon-based hardware.

The self? Simply a “center of narrative gravity,” a convenient fiction that allows us to integrate various neuronal data streams.

The elusive subjective conscious experience — the redness of red, the painfulness of pain — that philosophers call qualia? Sheer illusion.

Human beings, Mr. Dennett said, quoting a favorite pop philosopher, Dilbert, are “moist robots.”

“I’m a robot, and you’re a robot, but that doesn’t make us any less dignified or wonderful or lovable or responsible for our actions,” he said. “Why does our dignity depend on our being scientifically inexplicable?”

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/30/books/daniel-dennett-author-of-intuition-pumps-and-other-tools-for-thinking.html?pagewanted=all

Advertisements

From → Uncategorized

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: