From Bacteria To Bach And Back Download Ebook PDF Epub Online

Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2017-02-07
Page : 496
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 0393242080
Description :


"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.


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : Little, Brown
Release : 2017-02-07
Page : 528
Category : Psychology
ISBN 13 : 0316439487
Description :


"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.


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company
Release : 2014-05-05
Page : 512
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 0393348784
Description :


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.


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2004-01-27
Page : 368
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1101572663
Description :


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.


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2015-08-07
Page : 248
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 0262332043
Description :


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.


Author : Richard Dawkins
Publisher :
Release : 2017
Page : 438
Category : SCIENCE
ISBN 13 : 0399592245
Description :


A "defense of science and clear thinking [in a] career-spanning collection of essays, including twenty pieces published in the United States for the first time"--Amazon.com.


Author : Daniel Clement Dennett
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 1981
Page : 353
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9780262540377
Description :


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.


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2006-09-08
Page : 216
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 0262250721
Description :


In the years since Daniel Dennett's influential Consciousness Explained was published in 1991, scientific research on consciousness has been a hotly contested battleground of rival theories—"so rambunctious," Dennett observes, "that several people are writing books just about the tumult." With Sweet Dreams, Dennett returns to the subject for "revision and renewal" of his theory of consciousness, taking into account major empirical advances in the field since 1991 as well as recent theoretical challenges. In Consciousness Explained, Dennett proposed to replace the ubiquitous but bankrupt Cartesian Theater model (which posits a privileged place in the brain where "it all comes together" for the magic show of consciousness) with the Multiple Drafts Model. Drawing on psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and artificial intelligence, he asserted that human consciousness is essentially the mental software that reorganizes the functional architecture of the brain. In Sweet Dreams, he recasts the Multiple Drafts Model as the "fame in the brain" model, as a background against which to examine the philosophical issues that "continue to bedevil the field." With his usual clarity and brio, Dennett enlivens his arguments with a variety of vivid examples. He isolates the "Zombic Hunch" that distorts much of the theorizing of both philosophers and scientists, and defends heterophenomenology, his "third-person" approach to the science of consciousness, against persistent misinterpretations and objections. The old challenge of Frank Jackson's thought experiment about Mary the color scientist is given a new rebuttal in the form of "RoboMary," while his discussion of a famous card trick, "The Tuned Deck," is designed to show that David Chalmers's Hard Problem is probably just a figment of theorists' misexploited imagination. In the final essay, the "intrinsic" nature of "qualia" is compared with the naively imagined "intrinsic value" of a dollar in "Consciousness—How Much is That in Real Money?"


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : Simon and Schuster
Release : 2014-07-01
Page : 592
Category : Science
ISBN 13 : 1439126291
Description :


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.


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : Routledge
Release : 2002-01-04
Page : 214
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 1134848307
Description :


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


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2006-02-02
Page : 464
Category : Religion
ISBN 13 : 110121886X
Description :


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.


Author : Peter Godfrey-Smith
Publisher : Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release : 2016-12-06
Page : 272
Category : Science
ISBN 13 : 0374712808
Description :


A philosopher dons a wet suit and journeys into the depths of consciousness in Other Minds 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.


Author : Daniel C. Dennett
Publisher : Basic Books
Release : 2008-08-04
Page : 192
Category : Psychology
ISBN 13 : 9780786723621
Description :


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.


Author : Daniel Clement Dennett
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 1998
Page : 418
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9780262540902
Description :


"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.


Author : David Haig
Publisher : MIT Press
Release : 2020-03-31
Page : 512
Category : Technology & Engineering
ISBN 13 : 0262358034
Description :


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.


Author : Frank Wilczek
Publisher : Penguin
Release : 2015-07-14
Page : 400
Category : Science
ISBN 13 : 0698195620
Description :


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.


Author : Pranay Lal
Publisher : Random House India
Release : 2016-12-07
Page : 384
Category :
ISBN 13 : 9385990365
Description :


Few places have been as influential as the Indian subcontinent in shaping the course of life on Earth. Yet its evolution has remained largely unchronicled. Indica: A Deep Natural History of the Indian Subcontinent fills this gap. From the oldest rocks, formed three billion years ago in Karnataka, to the arrival of our ancestors 50,000 years ago on the banks of the Indus, the author meticulously sifts through wide-ranging scientific disciplines and through the layers of earth to tell us the story of India, filled with a variety of fierce reptiles, fantastic dinosaurs, gargantuan mammals and amazing plants. Beautifully produced in full colour, with a rare collection of images, illustrations and maps, Indica is full of fascinating, lesser-known facts. It shows us how every piece of rock and inch of soil is a virtual museum, and how, over billions of years, millions of spectacular creatures have reproduced, walked and lived over and under it.


Author : Douglas R. Hofstadter
Daniel Clement Dennett
Publisher : Basic Books (AZ)
Release : 2000
Page : 501
Category : Philosophy
ISBN 13 : 9780465030910
Description :


Essays from some of the 20th century's greatest thinkers explore topics as diverse as artificial intelligence, evolution, science fiction, philosophy, reductionism, and consciousness, presenting a variety of conflicting visions of the self and the soul. Illustrations.


Author : Kostas Kampourakis
Tobias Uller
Publisher : Cambridge University Press
Release : 2020-07-31
Page : 275
Category : Science
ISBN 13 : 1108491839
Description :


A short and accessible introduction to philosophy of science for students and researchers across the life sciences.


Author : Susan Blackmore
Publisher : OUP Oxford
Release : 2000-03-16
Page : 288
Category : Science
ISBN 13 : 0191574619
Description :


Humans are extraordinary creatures, with the unique ability among animals to imitate and so copy from one another ideas, habits, skills, behaviours, inventions, songs, and stories. These are all memes, a term first coined by Richard Dawkins in 1976 in his book The Selfish Gene. Memes, like genes, are replicators, and this enthralling book is an investigation of whether this link between genes and memes can lead to important discoveries about the nature of the inner self. Confronting the deepest questions about our inner selves, with all our emotions, memories, beliefs, and decisions, Susan Blackmore makes a compelling case for the theory that the inner self is merely an illusion created by the memes for the sake of replication.