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Daniel Dennett: Reconciling Science and Our Self-Conception

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  • ISBN13:9780745621166
  • ISBN10:0745621163
  • Publisher:Polity Press
  • Language:English
  • Author:Matthew Elton
  • Binding:Hardback
  • Pages:312
  • Sub Genre:Modern
  • SUPC: SDL552113768

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On the Back Cover

Daniel Dennett is one of the most influential thinkers at the interface between philosophy and science. This book is the first comprehensive examination of Dennett's ideas on the nature of thought, consciousness, free will, and the significance of Darwinism.

Elton examines Dennett's unique response to the question of when and how science should affect the conception that we have of ourselves. Whilst rejecting reductionism on the grounds that much of our self-conception is immune to revision, Dennett also rejects the idea that science has nothing to say about our self-conception - an idea that still flourishes within contemporary philosophy. What emerges is a view in which our understanding of ourselves is constrained by, but not continuous with, scientific inquiry.

Elton excels at bringing out the themes that bind together different aspects of Dennett's work. At the same time he casts new light on more specific controversies: Could robots ever think, feel, and enjoy freedom? Does Dennett really explain consciousness? Are mental states real or merely 'useful fictions'? Do we have free will? Is the self a 'centre of narrative gravity'?

Written in an exceptionally clear and engaging style, the book is a highly original introduction to contemporary thinking about the relationship between mind and science.

About the Author

Matthew Elton is a former Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Stirling.

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Daniel Dennett: Reconciling Science and Our Self-Conception

Daniel Dennett: Reconciling Science and Our Self-Conception

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