What is human consciousness and how is it possible? These questions fascinate thinking people from poets and painters to physicists, psychologists, and philosophers. This is Daniel C. Dennett's brilliant answer, extending perspectives from his earlier work in surprising directions, exploring the deep interactions of evolution, brains, and human culture. Part philosophical whodunnit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett's legendary career at the forefront of philosophical thought. In his inimitable style, laced with wit and arresting thought experiments, Dennett shows how culture enables reflection by installing a profusion of thinking tools, or memes, in our brains. Language, itself composed of memes, turbocharged this interplay. The result, a mind that can comprehend the questions it poses, emerges from a process of cultural evolution. An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and other researchers, this will delight and entertain anyone who hopes to understand human creativity in all its wondrous applications.
Daniel C. Dennett is the University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University. He is the author of numerous books including Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, Breaking the Spell, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, and Consciousness Explained.
Beguiling and enthralling Spectator A lively and cogent account of how human beings, uniquely among species, have evolved to possess a conscious mind ... An excellent exploration of the concept of cultural evolution, and the origins and consequences of human creativity Sunday Times Required reading for anyone remotely curious about how they came to be remotely curious Observer Lucid ... A brave and bracing book ... There should be more like it The Times Intelligence, insight and flair ... They don't come much bigger than Daniel Dennett -- Julian Baggini Guardian
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