In Brainchildren, Dennett deals with one of the most provocative notions in the philosophy of mind: qualia. Qualia are like sense data, such as a tomato’s redness, which is a mental quality that appears to consciousness and is quite different from its scientific definition (e.g., as motions of molecules in the air). In two essays Dennett considers qualia as decorations of perceptions by invoking a new and improved version of his famous zombie examples. For Dennett’s purposes, zombies are entities who lack consciousness but behave just like humans. His zombie metaphors are quite ingenious and useful in his analysis of consciousness.
Download Brainchildren written by Daniel Clement Dennett and has been published by MIT Press this book supported file pdf, txt, epub, kindle and other format this book has been release on 1998 with Philosophy categories.
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Brainchildren is, in one sense, Dennett’s way of defending his arguments in two earlier works—Consciousness Explained (1991) and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995)—which put him at the center of debate about the origin and nature of consciousness. Many pieces are critical responses to the published contributions of other philosophers, such as John Searle, Ray Jackson, Richard Rorty, Jerry Fodor, Richard Nagle, Roger Penrose, and Antonio Damasio.
Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds - ResearchGate
The first ten essays in Brainchildren are about different facets of Dennett’s views on philosophy of mind, consciousness, and intentionality. He attributes the mind’s complexity to the fact that it is both biological and sociological. Hence the interdisciplinary nature of his study. In a broad sense Dennett conceives of philosophy of mind as a field of study that attempts to connect thoughts on diverse but related topics such as the existence of “qualia,” multiple personality, artificial intelligence, and animal cognition.
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Page i Brainchildren Page ii Representation and Mind Hilary Putnam and Ned Block, Essays of Designing Minds Page iii Brainchildren Essays on Designing Minds.
Brainchildren, Dennett’s representative, retrospective work, contains a selection of twenty-six essays published since Brainstorms (1980), his first essay collection. The essays in Brainchildren, originally published in specialized and relatively obscure journals and conference proceedings, deal mainly with Dennett’s familiar areas of interest: artificial intelligence, philosophy of mind, animal behavior and cognition, and ethics. His approach is philosophical but with a scientific bent. In “Self- portrait,” he characterizes himself as a philosopher with a long-standing interest in the nature of consciousness, personhood, and the self. A few selections, such as one dealing with the debate between Dennett and Fred Dretsky, are not easy to read. But with repeated reading, some attention, and a willingness to be occasionally baffled, the reader is rewarded with insight rarely attainable by the layperson. In general, however, Dennett guides the uninitiated reader by meticulous attention to definition, word choice, and use of metaphors.
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