From Bacteria to Bach and Back The Evolution of Minds

From Bacteria to Bach and Back  The Evolution of Minds
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 496
Release: 2017-02-07
ISBN 10: 0393242080
ISBN 13: 9780393242089
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

From Bacteria to Bach and Back The Evolution of Minds Book Review:

"A supremely enjoyable, intoxicating work." —Nature How did we come to have minds? For centuries, poets, philosophers, psychologists, and physicists have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled abilities. Disciples of Darwin have explained how natural selection produced plants, but what about the human mind? In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Daniel C. Dennett builds on recent discoveries from biology and computer science to show, step by step, how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. A crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Competition among memes produced thinking tools powerful enough that our minds don’t just perceive and react, they create and comprehend. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and scientists, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain all those curious about how the mind works.

Consciousness Explained

Consciousness Explained
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Little, Brown
Total Pages: 528
Release: 2017-02-07
ISBN 10: 0316439487
ISBN 13: 9780316439480
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Consciousness Explained Book Review:

"Brilliant...as audacious as its title....Mr. Dennett's exposition is nothing short of brilliant." --George Johnson, New York Times Book Review Consciousness Explained is a a full-scale exploration of human consciousness. In this landmark book, Daniel Dennett refutes the traditional, commonsense theory of consciousness and presents a new model, based on a wealth of information from the fields of neuroscience, psychology, and artificial intelligence. Our current theories about conscious life-of people, animal, even robots--are transformed by the new perspectives found in this book.

A Beautiful Question

A Beautiful Question
Author: Frank Wilczek
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 400
Release: 2015-07-14
ISBN 10: 0698195620
ISBN 13: 9780698195622
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

A Beautiful Question Book Review:

Does the universe embody beautiful ideas? Artists as well as scientists throughout human history have pondered this “beautiful question.” With Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek as your guide, embark on a voyage of related discoveries, from Plato and Pythagoras up to the present. Wilczek’s groundbreaking work in quantum physics was inspired by his intuition to look for a deeper order of beauty in nature. In fact, every major advance in his career came from this intuition: to assume that the universe embodies beautiful forms, forms whose hallmarks are symmetry—harmony, balance, proportion—and economy. There are other meanings of “beauty,” but this is the deep logic of the universe—and it is no accident that it is also at the heart of what we find aesthetically pleasing and inspiring. Wilczek is hardly alone among great scientists in charting his course using beauty as his compass. As he reveals in A Beautiful Question, this has been the heart of scientific pursuit from Pythagoras, the ancient Greek who was the first to argue that “all things are number,” to Galileo, Newton, Maxwell, Einstein, and into the deep waters of twentiethcentury physics. Though the ancients weren’t right about everything, their ardent belief in the music of the spheres has proved true down to the quantum level. Indeed, Wilczek explores just how intertwined our ideas about beauty and art are with our scientific understanding of the cosmos. Wilczek brings us right to the edge of knowledge today, where the core insights of even the craziest quantum ideas apply principles we all understand. The equations for atoms and light are almost literally the same equations that govern musical instruments and sound; the subatomic particles that are responsible for most of our mass are determined by simple geometric symmetries. The universe itself, suggests Wilczek, seems to want to embody beautiful and elegant forms. Perhaps this force is the pure elegance of numbers, perhaps the work of a higher being, or somewhere between. Either way, we don’t depart from the infinite and infinitesimal after all; we’re profoundly connected to them, and we connect them. When we find that our sense of beauty is realized in the physical world, we are discovering something about the world, but also something about ourselves. Gorgeously illustrated, A Beautiful Question is a mind-shifting book that braids the age-old quest for beauty and the age-old quest for truth into a thrilling synthesis. It is a dazzling and important work from one of our best thinkers, whose humor and infectious sense of wonder animate every page. Yes: The world is a work of art, and its deepest truths are ones we already feel, as if they were somehow written in our souls.

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: W. W. Norton & Company
Total Pages: 512
Release: 2014-05-05
ISBN 10: 0393348784
ISBN 13: 9780393348781
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking Book Review:

The philosophy professor behind Breaking the Spell and Consciousness Explained offers exercises and tools to stretch the mind, offering new ways to consider, discuss and argue positions on dangerous subject matter including evolution, the meaning of life and free will.

Elbow Room new edition

Elbow Room  new edition
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 248
Release: 2015-08-07
ISBN 10: 0262332043
ISBN 13: 9780262332040
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Elbow Room new edition Book Review:

A landmark book in the debate over free will that makes the case for compatibilism. In this landmark 1984 work on free will, Daniel Dennett makes a case for compatibilism. His aim, as he writes in the preface to this new edition, was a cleanup job, “saving everything that mattered about the everyday concept of free will, while jettisoning the impediments.” In Elbow Room, Dennett argues that the varieties of free will worth wanting—those that underwrite moral and artistic responsibility—are not threatened by advances in science but distinguished, explained, and justified in detail. Dennett tackles the question of free will in a highly original and witty manner, drawing on the theories and concepts of fields that range from physics and evolutionary biology to engineering, automata theory, and artificial intelligence. He shows how the classical formulations of the problem in philosophy depend on misuses of imagination, and he disentangles the philosophical problems of real interest from the “family of anxieties” in which they are often enmeshed—imaginary agents and bogeymen, including the Peremptory Puppeteer, the Nefarious Neurosurgeon, and the Cosmic Child Whose Dolls We Are. Putting sociobiology in its rightful place, he concludes that we can have free will and science too. He explores reason, control and self-control, the meaning of “can” and “could have done otherwise,” responsibility and punishment, and why we would want free will in the first place. A fresh reading of Dennett's book shows how much it can still contribute to current discussions of free will. This edition includes as its afterword Dennett's 2012 Erasmus Prize essay.

Freedom Evolves

Freedom Evolves
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 368
Release: 2004-01-27
ISBN 10: 1101572663
ISBN 13: 9781101572665
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Freedom Evolves Book Review:

Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers “yes!” Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original arguments—drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy—that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.

Brainstorms

Brainstorms
Author: Daniel Clement Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 353
Release: 1981
ISBN 10: 9780262540377
ISBN 13: 0262540371
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brainstorms Book Review:

This collection of 17 essays by the author offers a comprehensive theory of mind, encompassing traditional issues of consciousness and free will. Using careful arguments and ingenious thought-experiments, the author exposes familiar preconceptions and hobbling institutions. This collection of 17 essays by the author offers a comprehensive theory of mind, encompassing traditional issues of consciousness and free will. Using careful arguments and ingenious thought-experiments, the author exposes familiar preconceptions and hobbling institutions. The essays are grouped into four sections: Intentional Explanation and Attributions of Mentality; The Nature of Theory in Psychology; Objects of Consciousness and the Nature of Experience; and Free Will and Personhood.

Breaking the Spell

Breaking the Spell
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Penguin
Total Pages: 464
Release: 2006-02-02
ISBN 10: 110121886X
ISBN 13: 9781101218860
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Breaking the Spell Book Review:

The New York Times bestseller – a “crystal-clear, constantly engaging” (Jared Diamond) exploration of the role that religious belief plays in our lives and our interactions For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.

Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams
Author: Daniel Clement Dennett
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 199
Release: 2005
ISBN 10: 9780262042253
ISBN 13: 0262042258
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Sweet Dreams Book Review:

The author of Consciousness Explained revises and renews his Multiple Drafts Model of consciousness in the light of recent research.

Content and Consciousness

Content and Consciousness
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Routledge
Total Pages: 214
Release: 2002-01-04
ISBN 10: 1134848307
ISBN 13: 9781134848300
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Content and Consciousness Book Review:

First published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Brainchildren

Brainchildren
Author: Daniel Clement Dennett,Hilary Putnam,Ned Block
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 418
Release: 1998
ISBN 10: 9780262540902
ISBN 13: 0262540908
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Brainchildren Book Review:

"Brainchildren" is a new collection of wide-ranging essays from one of cognitive science's most distinguished figures. This book brings together Dennett's essays on the philosophy of mind, artificial intelligence, and cognitive ethology that appeared in inaccessible journals from 1984 to 1996. Collected in a single volume, these compelling essays are now available to a wider audience.

Kinds Of Minds

Kinds Of Minds
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Basic Books
Total Pages: 192
Release: 2008-08-04
ISBN 10: 9780786723621
ISBN 13: 0786723629
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Kinds Of Minds Book Review:

Combining ideas from philosophy, artificial intelligence, and neurobiology, Daniel Dennett leads the reader on a fascinating journey of inquiry, exploring such intriguing possibilities as: Can any of us really know what is going on in someone else's mind? What distinguishes the human mind from the minds of animals, especially those capable of complex behavior? If such animals, for instance, were magically given the power of language, would their communities evolve an intelligence as subtly discriminating as ours? Will robots, once they have been endowed with sensory systems like those that provide us with experience, ever exhibit the particular traits long thought to distinguish the human mind, including the ability to think about thinking? Dennett addresses these questions from an evolutionary perspective. Beginning with the macromolecules of DNA and RNA, the author shows how, step-by-step, animal life moved from the simple ability to respond to frequently recurring environmental conditions to much more powerful ways of beating the odds, ways of using patterns of past experience to predict the future in never-before-encountered situations. Whether talking about robots whose video-camera "eyes" give us the powerful illusion that "there is somebody in there" or asking us to consider whether spiders are just tiny robots mindlessly spinning their webs of elegant design, Dennett is a master at finding and posing questions sure to stimulate and even disturb.

Spoon Fed

Spoon Fed
Author: Tim Spector
Publsiher: Random House
Total Pages: 288
Release: 2020-08-27
ISBN 10: 1473576407
ISBN 13: 9781473576407
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Spoon Fed Book Review:

*THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER* The groundbreaking new book from Tim Spector, bestselling author of The Diet Myth and creator of the COVID Symptom Study app. 'Illuminating and so incredibly timely.' Yotam Ottolenghi We are all bombarded with advice about what we should and shouldn't eat, and new scientific discoveries are announced every day. Yet the more we are told about nutrition, the less we seem to understand. Through his pioneering scientific research, Tim Spector has been shocked to discover how little good evidence there is for many of our most deep-rooted ideas about food. In a series of short, myth-busting chapters, Spoon-Fed reveals why almost everything we've been told about food is wrong. Spector explores the scandalous lack of good science behind many medical and government food recommendations, and how the food industry holds sway over these policies and our choices. Spoon-Fed is a groundbreaking book that forces us to question every diet plan, official recommendation, miracle cure or food label we encounter, and encourages us to rethink our whole relationship with food. Diet may be the most important medicine we all possess. We urgently need to learn how best to use it, not just for our health as individuals but for the future of the planet. 'One of the clearest and most accessible short nutrition books I have read: refreshingly open-minded, deeply informative and free of faddish diet rules.' Bee Wilson, Guardian 'This book should be available on prescription.' Felicity Cloake, Literary Review

Inside Jokes

Inside Jokes
Author: Matthew M. Hurley,Daniel C. Dennett,Reginald B. Adams, Jr.
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 374
Release: 2011-03-04
ISBN 10: 0262294818
ISBN 13: 9780262294812
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Inside Jokes Book Review:

An evolutionary and cognitive account of the addictive mind candy that is humor. Some things are funny—jokes, puns, sitcoms, Charlie Chaplin, The Far Side, Malvolio with his yellow garters crossed—but why? Why does humor exist in the first place? Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks, watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, Daniel Dennett, and Reginald Adams offer an evolutionary and cognitive perspective. Humor, they propose, evolved out of a computational problem that arose when our long-ago ancestors were furnished with open-ended thinking. Mother Nature—aka natural selection—cannot just order the brain to find and fix all our time-pressured misleaps and near-misses. She has to bribe the brain with pleasure. So we find them funny. This wired-in source of pleasure has been tickled relentlessly by humorists over the centuries, and we have become addicted to the endogenous mind candy that is humor.

From Darwin to Derrida

From Darwin to Derrida
Author: David Haig
Publsiher: MIT Press
Total Pages: 512
Release: 2020-03-31
ISBN 10: 0262358034
ISBN 13: 9780262358033
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

From Darwin to Derrida Book Review:

How the meaningless process of natural selection produces purposeful beings who find meaning in the world. In From Darwin to Derrida, evolutionary biologist David Haig explains how a physical world of matter in motion gave rise to a living world of purpose and meaning. Natural selection, a process without purpose, gives rise to purposeful beings who find meaning in the world. The key to this, Haig proposes, is the origin of mutable “texts”—genes—that preserve a record of what has worked in the world. These texts become the specifications for the intricate mechanisms of living beings. Haig draws on a wide range of sources—from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy to Immanuel Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment to the work of Jacques Derrida to the latest findings on gene transmission, duplication, and expression—to make his argument. Genes and their effects, he explains, are like eggs and chickens. Eggs exist for the sake of becoming chickens and chickens for the sake of laying eggs. A gene's effects have a causal role in determining which genes are copied. A gene (considered as a lineage of material copies) persists if its lineage has been consistently associated with survival and reproduction. Organisms can be understood as interpreters that link information from the environment to meaningful action in the environment. Meaning, Haig argues, is the output of a process of interpretation; there is a continuum from the very simplest forms of interpretation, instantiated in single RNA molecules near the origins of life, to the most sophisticated. Life is interpretation—the use of information in choice.

Committed Writings

Committed Writings
Author: Albert Camus
Publsiher: Vintage
Total Pages: 144
Release: 2020-08-04
ISBN 10: 0525567208
ISBN 13: 9780525567202
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Committed Writings Book Review:

The Nobel Prize winner's most influential and enduring political writings, newly curated and introduced by acclaimed Camus scholar Alice Kaplan. Albert Camus (1913-1960) is unsurpassed among writers for a body of work that animates the wonder and absurdity of existence. Committed Writings brings together, for the first time, thematically-linked essays from across Camus's writing career that reflect the scope of his political thought. This pivotal collection embodies Camus's radical and unwavering commitment to upholding human rights, resisting fascism, and creating art in the service of justice.

Other Minds

Other Minds
Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith
Publsiher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Total Pages: 272
Release: 2016-12-06
ISBN 10: 0374712808
ISBN 13: 9780374712808
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Other Minds Book Review:

Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. In captivity, octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers, raid neighboring tanks for food, turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water, plug drains, and make daring escapes. How is it that a creature with such gifts evolved through an evolutionary lineage so radically distant from our own? What does it mean that evolution built minds not once but at least twice? The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter? In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being—how nature became aware of itself. As Godfrey-Smith stresses, it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development, Godfrey-Smith shows how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing, acting, and signaling. As these primitive organisms became more entangled with others, they grew more complicated. The first nervous systems evolved, probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on, the cephalopods, which began as inconspicuous mollusks, abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor, searching for prey and acquiring the greater intelligence needed to do so. Taking an independent route, mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys. But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess? Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba-diving adventures, Godfrey-Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the lineage. How did the octopus, a solitary creature with little social life, become so smart? What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually “think for themselves”? What happens when some octopuses abandon their hermit-like ways and congregate, as they do in a unique location off the coast of Australia? By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind—and on our own.

Caught in the Pulpit

Caught in the Pulpit
Author: Daniel C. Dennett,Linda LaScola
Publsiher: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
Total Pages: 280
Release: 2015-05-01
ISBN 10: 1634310225
ISBN 13: 9781634310222
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Caught in the Pulpit Book Review:

What is it like to be a preacher or rabbi who no longer believes in God? In this expanded and updated edition of their groundbreaking study, Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola comprehensively and sensitively expose an inconvenient truth that religious institutions face in the new transparency of the information age—the phenomenon of clergy who no longer believe what they publicly preach. In confidential interviews, clergy from across the ministerial spectrum—from liberal to literal—reveal how their lives of religious service and study have led them to a truth inimical to their professed beliefs and profession. Although their personal stories are as varied as the denominations they once represented, or continue to represent—whether Catholic, Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, Mormon, Pentecostal, or any of numerous others—they give voice not only to their own struggles but also to those who similarly suffer in tender and lonely silence. As this study poignantly and vividly reveals, their common journey has far-reaching implications not only for their families, their congregations, and their communities—but also for the very future of religion.

Out of Our Heads

Out of Our Heads
Author: Alva Noë
Publsiher: Hill and Wang
Total Pages: 232
Release: 2010-02-02
ISBN 10: 1429957190
ISBN 13: 9781429957199
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Out of Our Heads Book Review:

Alva Noë is one of a new breed—part philosopher, part cognitive scientist, part neuroscientist—who are radically altering the study of consciousness by asking difficult questions and pointing out obvious flaws in the current science. In Out of Our Heads, he restates and reexamines the problem of consciousness, and then proposes a startling solution: Do away with the two hundred-year-old paradigm that places consciousness within the confines of the brain. Our culture is obsessed with the brain—how it perceives; how it remembers; how it determines our intelligence, our morality, our likes and our dislikes. It's widely believed that consciousness itself, that Holy Grail of science and philosophy, will soon be given a neural explanation. And yet, after decades of research, only one proposition about how the brain makes us conscious—how it gives rise to sensation, feeling, and subjectivity—has emerged unchallenged: We don't have a clue. In this inventive work, Noë suggests that rather than being something that happens inside us, consciousness is something we do. Debunking an outmoded philosophy that holds the scientific study of consciousness captive, Out of Our Heads is a fresh attempt at understanding our minds and how we interact with the world around us.

Darwin s Dangerous Idea

Darwin s Dangerous Idea
Author: Daniel C. Dennett
Publsiher: Simon and Schuster
Total Pages: 592
Release: 2014-07-01
ISBN 10: 1439126291
ISBN 13: 9781439126295
Language: EN, FR, DE, ES & NL

Darwin s Dangerous Idea Book Review:

In a book that is both groundbreaking and accessible, Daniel C. Dennett, whom Chet Raymo of The Boston Globe calls "one of the most provocative thinkers on the planet," focuses his unerringly logical mind on the theory of natural selection, showing how Darwin's great idea transforms and illuminates our traditional view of humanity's place in the universe. Dennett vividly describes the theory itself and then extends Darwin's vision with impeccable arguments to their often surprising conclusions, challenging the views of some of the most famous scientists of our day.