Daniel Dennett Essays

  • Emily Dickinson and Daniel Dennett

    1582 Words  | 4 Pages

    rigorous logic or scientific underpinnings in this poem. Instead, we accept it as a welcome springboard for our own imaginings about her concept. By contrast, many have criticized and resisted the sometimes-slippery logic and swift-handed science that Dennett uses to explain his neo-Darwinian theory, or explain away whatever challenges it. In the end, both writers/thinkers rely on historical narrative to persuade their readers: "Many scientific patterns are also historical patterns, and hence are revealed

  • Literary Analysis and the Theory of Literature

    1619 Words  | 4 Pages

    One of my favorite stories about the days of literary High Theory is told by the feminist critic Sandra Gilbert. In the late '80s, Gilbert was interviewing a candidate for a job in Princeton University's English department. "What would your dream course be?" she asked. "My dream course," the candidate responded, "would be theory and nontheory." "What's nontheory?" asked a committee member. "You know," the candidate replied. "Poems, stories, plays."...Elaine Showwalter, Professor Emeritus, Princeton

  • Free Will, Deliberation, And Determinism In Daniel Dennett's Elbow Room

    1860 Words  | 4 Pages

    choices and do the actions that they desire to complete. In order to understand the argument, defining key terms like free will, deliberation, and determinism is vital. One Philosopher, Daniel Dennett, explores the topic and issues of free will and determinism in his 1984 book Elbow Room. I disagree with Dennett view and I believe that humans do not have free will. We are controlled by several things, like our evolutionary past and genetics, or environment, and they all play into determinism. Similarly

  • Free Will Essay

    1395 Words  | 3 Pages

    In his book Free Will, Sam Harris not only states that, “Our wills are simply not of our own making” but additionally if it where declared as fact by the scientific community it “would precipitate a culture war far more belligerent than the one that has been waged on the subject of evolution.” (Ch.1) Harris’ contention is surprising as he himself states, “…most people find these conclusions abhorrent” (Ch.1) but does it really matter whether we actually have free will or not? I maintain that the

  • Determinism

    2612 Words  | 6 Pages

    this essay encounters the apparent confrontation between determinism and our sense of agency as rational actors in the universe. In an attempt to make sense of this issue and the implications involved in dealing with it, several forms of argument will be explored. Finally I tentatively offer that the most parsimonious explanation currently lies in a form of compatibilist approach. Antonio Damasio has argued that damage to the cortex can impair cognition to such an extent that those unfortunate afflicted

  • Dr Daniel Dennett Brainstorms Essay

    1618 Words  | 4 Pages

    Brainstorms by Dr. Daniel Dennett is fiction. Dennett, the fictitious character identical to the real Dennett, is approached by Howard Hughes, nasa and government officials. They offer him to take part in a failed experiment involving a “Supersonic Tunneling Underground Device”. Dennett accepts to being the retriever for what is essentially an underground mobile atomic warhead, stuck deep underground. Because the bomb’s radiation is harmful to brain tissue, they place his brain (to which Dennett was quite

  • David Hume's Theory of Ethics

    1677 Words  | 4 Pages

    David Hume is considered to be one of the big three British empiricists, along with Hobbes and Locke, and lived near the end of the Enlightenment. The Catholic Church was losing its control over science, politics and philosophy and the Aristotelian world view was being swallowed up by a more mechanistic viewpoint. Galileo found the theory provided by Copernicus to be correct, that our earth was not the center of everything, but the celestial bodies including the earth circled the sun. Mathematicians

  • Where Am I by Daniel Dennett

    951 Words  | 2 Pages

    In Daniel Dennett’s piece of literature “Where Am I” tells the hypothetical scenario of Dennett who is approached by the pentagon to undergo a dangerous mission where he is asked to retrieve a radioactive warhead lodged deep underground. In order to retrieve the radioactive warhead, he must undergo a brain operation to fully remove the brain as the waves from the warhead only affect the brain.(Page 34) Along with the radioactivity affecting the brain, the pentagon wanted to monitor the brains activity

  • Free Will Vs. Fate In The Open

    1038 Words  | 3 Pages

    The Open Boat, by Steven Crane, demonstrates fate vs. free will. In this story the characters are subject to contemplating how their fate is being determined, however free will cannot be dismissed as a contributor to their situation. The fine line between fate and free will, if it exists, is hard to define. There are many philosophical and religious debates between the concepts of free will and fate. Free will is based on a belief that our future is based on the decisions that we make today. Looking

  • The Biological Factors Of Free Will And Determinism

    1062 Words  | 3 Pages

    When looking at a person’s life, there are many factors to consider, social strains, biology, free will, and up-bringing to name a few. Each of them is very important, but today I will e discussing the biological factors, and the free will. Free will is the ultimate or final decider of one’s life path, and although factors of determinism might give one their foundation or starting point, free will takes you the rest of the way. That being said, it is important to remember that free will and determinism

  • Determinism In George Nolfi's 'The Adjustment Bureau'

    1036 Words  | 3 Pages

    In life we must ask ourselves one question: Do we have free will, or are our lives already predetermined and there’s nothing we can do about it? That’s the question people often ponder about, and they usually wonder that whenever they read a book, watch a movie, etc. One movie that dives into this matter is George Nolfi’s movie The Adjustment Bureau. In the movie a congressman named David falls in love with a dancer named Elise, but it turns out a group of everymen referred to as the Adjustment Bureau

  • Mutations in Nature and Culture

    768 Words  | 2 Pages

    evolution in species. In a sci-fi/ horror flick sense, one might think of a vicious monster that after contact with some radioactive substance became terribly disfigured. But rarely do we associate mutations with ideas pervasive to our culture. Daniel Dennett suggests that memes undergo a certain kind of mutation that is inherent to the creative evolution of culture. The most important distinction to be made between mutation as it applies to biological evolution, and how it applies to creative evolution

  • Analysis Of Where Am I By Daniel Dennett

    2592 Words  | 6 Pages

    As an extension to the short story “Where am I?” by Daniel Dennett, Dennett is taking the government to court, claiming that NASA owes him a new body, because he is currently forced to share his body with another person (Hubert). Wanting to make usage of my philosophical expertise, the government called upon me to give my recommendation to the court as to what validity, if any Dennett’s claim has, and whether or not Dennett should be awarded a second body transplant. After careful consideration on

  • Analysis Of Where Am I Daniel Dennett

    1037 Words  | 3 Pages

    “Where Am I?” by Daniel Dennett, addresses the complex philosophical matters of perspective and dualism. It is a bit of a bizarre science fiction tale, about a man whose brain was removed and stored in a vat at a lab. The twist is that the brain in the vat is still able to be fully functional from afar using radio signals, giving our main character, Dennett, a literal mind and body separation. Later his body it comes out that his body is capable of being controlled by a computer (referred to as Hubert)

  • Analysis Of Where Am I Daniel C. Dennett

    1250 Words  | 3 Pages

    In the essay “Where am I?” by Daniel C. Dennett there are connections being made and questions that arise in nature of a ‘self’ and the relation to ‘mind’ and ‘body’. The essay starts out with information about how Daniel was approached by Pentagon officials in which they asked him if he would be inclined to volunteer to take on a very dangerous and secret mission. This mission involved Daniel to go underground in Oklahoma to retrieve a warhead that was placed down there that has become extremely

  • Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea

    1655 Words  | 4 Pages

    purposes of this paper, I am limiting my question to the relevance of equality for human beings. I am narrowing my categories because morality is a human created concept couched in language, the use of which differentiates humans from other organisms. Dennett claims: "Whereas animals are rigidly controlled by their biology, human behavior is largely determined by culture, a largely autonomous system of symbols and values, growing from a biological base, but growing indefinitely away from it. Able to

  • Predicting Behavior

    4205 Words  | 9 Pages

    explain the behavior of other humans has long been of interest for both philosophers and psychologists. Initially, it was taken for granted that this competence is based on an ability to attribute beliefs and desires to other humans. For example, Daniel Dennett's (1987) intentional stance, which requires that intentional behavior is best predicted via belief attributions, rests on this assumption. Premack and Woodruff (1978) also rely on this view in stating that if a chimpanzee can predict intentional

  • Aristotle, Connectionism, and the Brain

    4277 Words  | 9 Pages

    person? Recently, some philosophers have argued that human consciousness and cognitive activity, including even our moral cognition and behavior, can best be explained using a connectionist or neural network model of the brain (see Churchland 1995; Dennett 1991 and 1996). (1) Is this right? Can a mass of networked neurons produce moral human agents? I shall argue that it can; a brain can be morally excellent. A connectionist account of how the brain works can explain how a person might be morally excellent

  • Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life

    1006 Words  | 3 Pages

    Daniel Dennett's Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life Science can give us as good a moral code as any religion. Or so Daniel Dennett claims in his book, Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life. Dennett provides the tools to explain human morality, and inadvertently leads the way to the conclusion (which he does not share) that science can clarify how human morality came about, but not serve as a substitute or model for moral codes, religious and secular

  • There is No Captain Kirk: A Theory of Universal Lack of Personal Identity

    1996 Words  | 4 Pages

    these factors do not make the two Kirks the same person. The two Kirks appear to be identical physically. This is known as bodily identity, which is in short, the theory that you are your body and that wherever your body goes there you are. Daniel C. Dennett refutes this theory in “Where Am I?” using the following argument: If Tom and Dick switch brains, Tom is the fellow with Dick’s former body – just ask him; he’ll claim to be Tom, and tell you the most intimate details of Tom’s autobiography