• The Empiricist
    1
    In this lecture (link below), Daniel Dennett discusses evolutionary biology (Darwin's strange inversion of reasoning), intelligent (top-down) design, the era of post-intelligent design and modern AI.
    He uses ideas from computer science and biology to how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. A mind that not only can perceive and control but can create and comprehend is largely shaped by the processes of cultural evolution. The huge shift when humans developed the ability to share memes and things such as language, itself composed of memes, that are not genetic instincts greatly influenced this so-called cultural evolution. Competition among memes, itself a form of natural selection, produced very well-designed thinking tools that gave us the ability to design our own memes.

    Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfLynOBIsVA
  • Wayfarer
    6.5k
    If Dennett is correct, then what he's saying is meaningless. It can't be meaningful, because any meaning it might have, is itself simply a neural construct. So whatever he says, is just the cunning genome's way of attempting to propagate, disguised as 'philosophy'.
  • Bitter Crank
    6.3k
    A mind that not only can perceive and control but can create and comprehend is largely shaped by the processes of cultural evolution.The Empiricist

    The brain, which is the place where 'mind' lives, is entirely biological. The components of the body which make mind possible have been developing since life began. The capacities to perceive, control, create, and comprehend didn't spring out of the scallop shell like Aphrodite. They developed over time in many species. And these capacities exist in various animals, elaborated as appropriate to their survival needs.
  • Sir2u
    1.3k
    I read(listened to) the book a years or so ago I think it was. I remember that I found some parts of it interesting but don't remember what.

    I'll have a look at the video and maybe get back to you.
  • Rich
    3.2k
    Do you believe you are a meaningless soup of chemicals?

    As far as Dennett is concerned, he found a market where he can spread the word to others seeking confirmation. No different than any other religion. Why do people believe that they are just a soup of chemicals? Exactly the same reason as people believe in an all powerful God.
  • JupiterJess
    108
    is itself simply a neural construct. So whatever he says, is just the cunning genome's way of attempting to propagate, disguised as 'philosophy'.Wayfarer

    In Dawkins' Selfish Gene (which is one of Dennett's bibles) he advocates a type of radical free will:
    We have the power to turn against our creators. We, alone on earth, can rebel against the tyranny of the selfish replicators. — Dawkins

    He did elaborate on this in his end notes that the brain as a organ (its surrounding structure ect) can be understood as separate from the genes/memes but did not say how.

    -----
    Also aren't memetics still considered a pseudoscience? <That's in reply to the Dennett lecture, not Dawkins.
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