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Born This Day: Daniel C. Dennett

b. 1942

Dennett is a philosopher of science who has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects including free will, consciousness, intentionality, Darwinism, and religion. He is known primarily for his groundbreaking book Darwin's Dangerous Idea in which he attempts to establish a philosophical framework for the science in which Darwinian theory operates. In recent years, he has been spending much of his time analyzing religion from a Darwinian perspective as one of the "Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse" (a title he bears proudly).

  • Received his Ph.D. from Oxford and studied under Gilbert Ryle while there. dennet_sig
  • Co-founder and Co-director of the Curricular Software Studio at Tufts where he is professor of philosophy. He also is Co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts
  • His 1995 book Darwin's Dangerous Idea was a National Book Award finalist for that year.
  • Once got into an email tussle with philosopher Michael Ruse over his role in the New Atheism movement.
  • Helped raise awareness and foster the growth of the atheist "Brights" movement.

I started a chapter by chapter summary of Darwin's Dangerous Idea here. I hope to get back to this project someday. I also had the privilege of hearing Dr. Dennett lecture in person and was able to get my copy of Elbow Room autographed.

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