Saturday, April 20, 2024

Daniel Dennett (RIP)

Daniel Dennett, one of the world's most prominent philosophers, passed away yesterday.  When I was a an MA student I took a graduate seminar in 1995 which was dedicated to a semester-long analysis of his 1991 book Consciousness Explained

The NY Times has a nice piece on the importance and influence of Dennett here.  A sample:

Daniel C. Dennett, one of the most widely read and debated American philosophers, whose prolific works explored consciousness, free will, religion and evolutionary biology, died on Friday in Portland, Maine. He was 82.

....He graduated from Harvard University in 1963 and two years later earned a Ph.D. in philosophy from Oxford University. His dissertation began a lifelong quest to use empirical research as the basis of a philosophy of the mind.

....Underlying the increasingly acrimonious debate between the scholars was a natural friction in the scientific and philosophical communities over which side merited more credibility on the subject of evolution.

A major loss for the intellectual enterprise.