By Tadeusz Zawidzki
Tadeusz Zawidzki outlines Dennett's reconciliation of 3 significant components--thought, cognizance, and freedom of the will--with what technological know-how tells us approximately human nature. during this exposition, the ebook highlights the real function that Darwinian pondering performs in Dennett's proposed reconciliation, in addition to his leading edge proposals concerning the 'reality' of our cognizance and its attributes.
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Additional info for Dennett (Oneworld Thinkers)
So it seems inevitable that consciousness cannot be reconciled with the scientific image of human nature. Even if we reject such a definition of consciousness as unfairly prejudging the issue of whether consciousness can be studied scientifically, there remain obvious obstacles to reconciling the scientific image of human nature as determined by the nervous system with the manifest image of persons as conscious entities. Recall that consciousness seems to represent the world in a way that is very unlike the way the world is.
In fact, Dennett has changed his mind on this issue as new empirical facts have come to light. Early on, he joined Fodor in speculating that the brain might approximate intentional stance descriptions in virtue of running a language of thought, much like digital computers run programming languages (IS, p. 34). More recently, he has proposed that brains make use of cognitive processes that are often not language-like at all (BC, pp. 91–2). I bring these speculations up because they reveal an important strength of Dennett’s philosophical proposals, and make clear his non-reductionist approach to reconciling the manifest with the scientific images.
Though still in their infancy, the sciences of human nature are constructing a picture of human nature that appears incompatible with our most cherished assumptions about what human persons are. If human behaviour is entirely determined by the human nervous system, then, on the face of it, it looks as though human beings cannot be the free, responsible, conscious, thinking, unified persons that the manifest image takes them to be. Dennett’s forty-year intellectual odyssey is an ambitious and ingenious attempt to resist this claim.
Dennett (Oneworld Thinkers) by Tadeusz Zawidzki