Search Results for "darwin-s-dangerous-idea"

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Evolution and the Meaning of Life

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • ISBN: 1439126291
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 592
  • View: 541
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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.

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Evolution and the Meanins of Life

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: Simon and Schuster
  • ISBN: 068482471X
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 586
  • View: 9777
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Offers a wider perspective on Darwin's scientific theory of natural selection, explaining how it extends beyond biology, analyzing current controversies over the origins of life and inherent biases, and challenging popular philosophies

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Evolution and the Meanings of Life

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: Penguin UK
  • ISBN: 0141949252
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 592
  • View: 3069
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This work assesses Darwin's theory of evolution and looks at why it arises such heated debate among scientists, philosophers and sociologists. The book aims to show that Darwinism does not devalue the miracles of life.

C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea

C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea

In Defense of the Argument from Reason

  • Author: Victor Reppert
  • Publisher: InterVarsity Press
  • ISBN: 9780830874651
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: N.A
  • View: 521
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Who ought to hold claim to the more dangerous idea--Charles Darwin or C. S. Lewis? Daniel Dennett argued for Darwin in Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Touchstone Books, 1996). In this book Victor Reppert champions C. S. Lewis. Darwinists attempt to use science to show that our world and its inhabitants can be fully explained as the product of a mindless, purposeless system of physics and chemistry. But Lewis claimed in his argument from reason that if such materialism or naturalism were true then scientific reasoning itself could not be trusted. Victor Reppert believes that Lewis's arguments have been too often dismissed. In C. S. Lewis's Dangerous Idea Reppert offers careful, able development of Lewis's thought and demonstrates that the basic thrust of Lewis's argument from reason can bear up under the weight of the most serious philosophical attacks. Charging dismissive critics, Christian and not, with ad hominem arguments, Reppert also revisits the debate and subsequent interaction between Lewis and the philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe. And addressing those who might be afflicted with philosophical snobbery, Reppert demonstrates that Lewis's powerful philosophical instincts perhaps ought to place him among those other thinkers who, by contemporary standards, were also amateurs: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Locke and Hume. But even more than this, Reppert's work exemplifies the truth that the greatness of Lewis's mind is best measured, not by his ability to do our thinking for us, but by his capacity to provide sound direction for taking our own thought further up and further in.

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN: 0393348784
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 512
  • View: 9460
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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.

Freedom Evolves

Freedom Evolves

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN: 1101572663
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 368
  • View: 9963
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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.

Breaking the Spell

Breaking the Spell

Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: Penguin
  • ISBN: 9781101218860
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 464
  • View: 9133
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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.

What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

What Is Your Dangerous Idea?

Today’s Leading Thinkers on the Unthinkable

  • Author: Mr. John Brockman
  • Publisher: Harper Collins
  • ISBN: 0061844802
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 336
  • View: 7470
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The world's leading scientific thinkers explore bold, remarkable, perilous ideas that could change our lives—for better . . . or for worse . . . From Copernicus to Darwin, to current-day thinkers, scientists have always promoted theories and unveiled discoveries that challenge everything society holds dear; ideas with both positive and dire consequences. Many thoughts that resonate today are dangerous not because they are assumed to be false, but because they might turn out to be true. What do the world's leading scientists and thinkers consider to be their most dangerous idea? Through the leading online forum Edge (www.edge.org), the call went out, and this compelling and easily digestible volume collects the answers. From using medication to permanently alter our personalities to contemplating a universe in which we are utterly alone, to the idea that the universe might be fundamentally inexplicable, What Is Your Dangerous Idea? takes an unflinching look at the daring, breathtaking, sometimes terrifying thoughts that could forever alter our world and the way we live in it. Contributors include Daniel C. Dennett • Jared Diamond • Brian Greene • Matt Ridley • Howard Gardner and Freeman Dyson, among others

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
  • ISBN: 0393242080
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 448
  • View: 4644
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“[The] best scientific-philosophical approach to understanding how consciousness evolved.… A wonderful book that will shape and drive thinking for years to come.”—Shane O’Mara, Times Higher Education 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.

Darwin's Pious Idea

Darwin's Pious Idea

Why the Ultra-Darwinists and Creationists Both Get It Wrong

  • Author: Conor Cunningham
  • Publisher: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing
  • ISBN: 0802848389
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 543
  • View: 917
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According to British scholar Conor Cunningham, the debate today between religion and evolution has been hijacked by extremists: on one side stand fundamentalist believers who reject evolution outright; on the opposing side are fundamentalist atheists who claim that Darwin s theory rules out the possibility of God. Both sides are dead wrong, argues Cunningham, who is at once a Christian and a firm believer in the theory of evolution. In Darwin s Pious Idea Cunningham puts forth a trenchant, compelling case for both creation and evolution, drawing skillfully on an array of philosophical, theological, historical, and scientific sources to buttress his arguments.

Consciousness Explained

Consciousness Explained

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett
  • Publisher: Little, Brown
  • ISBN: 0316439487
  • Category: Psychology
  • Page: 528
  • View: 1400
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"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.

Brainchildren

Brainchildren

Essays on Designing Minds

  • Author: Daniel Clement Dennett
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • ISBN: 9780262540902
  • Category: Philosophy
  • Page: 418
  • View: 8873
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"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.

The Shape of the New

The Shape of the New

Four Big Ideas and How They Made the Modern World

  • Author: Scott L. Montgomery,Daniel Chirot
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 140088425X
  • Category: History
  • Page: 512
  • View: 1552
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This panoramic book tells the story of how revolutionary ideas from the Enlightenment about freedom, equality, evolution, and democracy have reverberated through modern history and shaped the world as we know it today. A testament to the enduring power of ideas, The Shape of the New offers unforgettable portraits of Adam Smith, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Charles Darwin, and Karl Marx—heirs of the Enlightenment who embodied its highest ideals about progress—and shows how their thoughts, over time and in the hands of their followers and opponents, transformed the very nature of our beliefs, institutions, economies, and politics. Yet these ideas also hold contradictions. They have been used in the service of brutal systems such as slavery and colonialism, been appropriated and twisted by monsters like Stalin and Hitler, and provoked reactions against the Enlightenment's legacy by Islamic Salafists and the Christian Religious Right. The Shape of the New argues that it is impossible to understand the ideological and political conflicts of our own time without familiarizing ourselves with the history and internal tensions of these world-changing ideas. With passion and conviction, it exhorts us to recognize the central importance of these ideas as historical forces and pillars of the Western humanistic tradition. It makes the case that to read the works of the great thinkers is to gain invaluable insights into the ideas that have shaped how we think and what we believe.

River Out of Eden

River Out of Eden

A Darwinian View of Life

  • Author: Richard Dawkins
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • ISBN: 9780786724260
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 192
  • View: 7814
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How did the replication bomb we call ”life” begin and where in the world, or rather, in the universe, is it heading? Writing with characteristic wit and an ability to clarify complex phenomena (the New York Times described his style as ”the sort of science writing that makes the reader feel like a genius”), Richard Dawkins confronts this ancient mystery.

Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons

Monkey Trials and Gorilla Sermons

Evolution and Christianity from Darwin to Intelligent Design

  • Author: Peter J. Bowler
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • ISBN: 0674028600
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 272
  • View: 3689
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Bowler doesn't minimize the hostility of many of the faithful toward evolution, but he reveals the less well-known existence of a long tradition within the churches that sought to reconcile Christian beliefs with evolution by finding reflections of the divine in scientific explanations for the origin of life. By tracing the historical forerunners of these rival Christian responses, Bowler provides a valuable alternative to accounts that stress only the escalating confrontation.

The Evolution of Beauty

The Evolution of Beauty

How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World - and Us

  • Author: Richard O. Prum
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN: 0385537220
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 448
  • View: 6560
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A FINALIST FOR THE PULITZER PRIZE NAMED A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW, SMITHSONIAN, AND WALL STREET JOURNAL A major reimagining of how evolutionary forces work, revealing how mating preferences—what Darwin termed "the taste for the beautiful"—create the extraordinary range of ornament in the animal world. In the great halls of science, dogma holds that Darwin's theory of natural selection explains every branch on the tree of life: which species thrive, which wither away to extinction, and what features each evolves. But can adaptation by natural selection really account for everything we see in nature? Yale University ornithologist Richard Prum—reviving Darwin's own views—thinks not. Deep in tropical jungles around the world are birds with a dizzying array of appearances and mating displays: Club-winged Manakins who sing with their wings, Great Argus Pheasants who dazzle prospective mates with a four-foot-wide cone of feathers covered in golden 3D spheres, Red-capped Manakins who moonwalk. In thirty years of fieldwork, Prum has seen numerous display traits that seem disconnected from, if not outright contrary to, selection for individual survival. To explain this, he dusts off Darwin's long-neglected theory of sexual selection in which the act of choosing a mate for purely aesthetic reasons—for the mere pleasure of it—is an independent engine of evolutionary change. Mate choice can drive ornamental traits from the constraints of adaptive evolution, allowing them to grow ever more elaborate. It also sets the stakes for sexual conflict, in which the sexual autonomy of the female evolves in response to male sexual control. Most crucially, this framework provides important insights into the evolution of human sexuality, particularly the ways in which female preferences have changed male bodies, and even maleness itself, through evolutionary time. The Evolution of Beauty presents a unique scientific vision for how nature's splendor contributes to a more complete understanding of evolution and of ourselves.

Caught in the Pulpit

Caught in the Pulpit

Leaving Belief Behind

  • Author: Daniel C. Dennett,Linda LaScola
  • Publisher: Pitchstone Publishing (US&CA)
  • ISBN: 1634310225
  • Category: Religion
  • Page: 280
  • View: 8473
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What is it like to be a preacher or rabbi who no longer believes in God? In this expanded and updated edition of their groundbreaking study, Daniel C. Dennett and Linda LaScola comprehensively and sensitively expose an inconvenient truth that religious institutions face in the new transparency of the information age—the phenomenon of clergy who no longer believe what they publicly preach. In confidential interviews, clergy from across the ministerial spectrum—from liberal to literal—reveal how their lives of religious service and study have led them to a truth inimical to their professed beliefs and profession. Although their personal stories are as varied as the denominations they once represented, or continue to represent—whether Catholic, Baptist, Episcopalian, Methodist, Mormon, Pentecostal, or any of numerous others—they give voice not only to their own struggles but also to those who similarly suffer in tender and lonely silence. As this study poignantly and vividly reveals, their common journey has far-reaching implications not only for their families, their congregations, and their communities—but also for the very future of religion.

Adaptation and Natural Selection

Adaptation and Natural Selection

A Critique of Some Current Evolutionary Thought

  • Author: George Christopher Williams
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • ISBN: 9781400820108
  • Category: Science
  • Page: 328
  • View: 2740
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Biological evolution is a fact--but the many conflicting theories of evolution remain controversial even today. In 1966, simple Darwinism, which holds that evolution functions primarily at the level of the individual organism, was threatened by opposing concepts such as group selection, a popular idea stating that evolution acts to select entire species rather than individuals. George Williams's famous argument in favor of the Darwinists struck a powerful blow to those in opposing camps. His Adaptation and Natural Selection, now a classic of science literature, is a thorough and convincing essay in defense of Darwinism; its suggestions for developing effective principles for dealing with the evolution debate and its relevance to many fields outside biology ensure the timelessness of this critical work.