Daniel C Dennett, Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, comes to Bristol to discuss ‘What does my body need ME for? The role of human intelligence’. The more we learn about the powers of unconscious control systems – in robots and relatively simple animals, and in our own bodies – the more precisely we can pinpoint what ‘conscious thought’ accomplishes. It is not the ‘pinnacle’ or even the ‘centre’ of our agency, but without it, we could not be the agents that we are.
Daniel C Dennett, author of Breaking the Spell, Freedom Evolves and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, is University Professor and Austin B Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. His first book, Content and Consciousness, appeared in 1969, followed by Brainstorms (1978), Elbow Room (1984), The Intentional Stance (1987), Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995), Kinds of Minds (1996), and Brainchildren: A Collection of Essays 1984-1996 (MIT Press and Penguin, 1998). Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness, was published in 2005 by MIT Press. He co-edited The Mind’s I with Douglas Hofstadter in 1981.
Professor Dennett is the author of over 300 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. He gave the John Locke Lectures at Oxford in 1983, the Gavin David Young Lectures at Adelaide, Australia, in 1985, and the Tanner Lecture at Michigan in 1986, among many others. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987. He was the Co-founder (in 1985) and Co-director of the Curricular Software Studio at Tufts, and has helped to design museum exhibits on computers for the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Science in Boston, and the Computer Museum in Boston.
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