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From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

Scritto da Daniel C. Dennett

Narrato da Tom Perkins


From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds

Scritto da Daniel C. Dennett

Narrato da Tom Perkins

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (35 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
15 ore
Pubblicato:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781681684406
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

What is human consciousness and how is it possible? This question fascinates thinking people from poets and painters to physicists, psychologists, and philosophers. From Bacteria to Bach and Back 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 whodunit, 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 bounty 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, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain anyone who hopes to understand human creativity in all its wondrous applications.
Pubblicato:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781681684406
Formato:
Audiolibro


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35 valutazioni / 6 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    This is an interesting summary of some current thinking about what consciousness is, how it got to be, and what it might become. Daniel Dennett writes this philosophy book from the point of view of a generalist, giving his opinions, considering his critics, and mentioning the work of any number of other people from various fields of study. For Dennett, the mind is the way the brain works, and it came to be what it is through natural selection much in the way bacteria came to be over time. He makes much of how our neurons arranged themselves through random mutations that worked long enough to be carried on to future generations, and that were helpful to the brains that carried them. Further, he discusses how society might have come about partly by bottom-up natural selection, and partly by top-down intelligent design. He usefully contrasts lower-case "intelligent design", by intelligent people, with the upper-case "Intelligent Design" advocated by creationists.This all makes a lot of sense, even though the 500 page path to explaining it all can get a bit confusing at times. Consciousness is a big subject and no one book can cover everything about how we are what we are. This book is a great start, though - gave me much to think about.
  • (5/5)
    Incredible exploration of minds and brains, where they started and where they could be going. Dennett is a brilliant thinker and his approach to consciousness and the hard problem is enlightening.
  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Very interesting but i don't like Dennett's style of writing. He elates and references himself a few times too many and seems to be proving something against other scientists rather than just bring the topics for what they are.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (5/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    Dennett, again. Unknowing to knowing from the bottom up. The Nagel review in NY Review is an embarrassment, the entire argument hinging on - 'Dennett asks us to turn our backs on what is glaringly obvious - that in consciousness we are immediately aware of real subjective experiences of color, flavor, sound, touch, etc. that cannot be fully described in neural terms even though they have a neural cause'WTF - beg the question much? assertion upon assertion upon assertion. None of those are obvious, nor subjective. The closing chapter includes this sobering paragraph, more so in light of Nov 2016:'Our civilization has been running smoothly - with some serious disruptions - for thousands of years, growing in complexity and power, could it break down? Yes, it could, and to whom could we then turn to help us get on the road? You can't buy a new civilization if yours collapses, so we had better keep the civilization we have running in good repair. Who, though, are the reliable mechanics? The politicians, the judges, the bankers, the industrialists, the journalists, the professors - the leaders of our society, in short - are much more like the average motorist than you might like to think: doing their local bit to steer their part of the whole contraption, while blissfully ignorant of the complexities on which the whole system depends. According to the economist and evolutionary thinker Paul Seabright, the optimistic tunnel vision with which they operate is not a deplorable and correctable flaw in the system but an enabling condition. This distribution of partial comprehension is not optional. The edifices of social construction that shape our lives in so many regards depends in our myopic confidence that their structure is sound and needs no attention from us."See also, the USSR.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

    The title of this book implies a journey, and that's what it feels like...a long, twisty one with diversions to view the scenery, most of which, frankly, is rather dull. Along the way we're supposed to have learned something about 'the evolution of minds', and perhaps we do, a bit, but not much, honestly, and after reading this, I'm not sure what it was. There is a long diversion to look at words as memes, and a lengthy stopover to take a few kicks at the dead horse of Descartes' mind/body dualism, but I'm not sure either of these required the number of pages devoted to them. My issues aren't so much that I disagree strongly with the things Dennett is saying, they're more to do with how long he takes to say them. There seems to be a lot of belaboring the obvious going on. I suppose I was hoping for a succinct presentation of Dennett's views on the nature of consciousness, and although it is frequently mentioned, we never get a clear, unobstructed look at it. Maybe it's here and I simply missed it. I may have allowed my attention to be diverted by the diversions.

    1 persona l'ha trovata utile

  • (3/5)

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile

    There are excellent insights and ideas in this book, sometimes obscured by the author's meandering style and academic presentation. At one point, he laments the current lack of inspired communicators who, like Hawking and Bernstein, were able to communicate complicated subject matter to a general audience. If he has it in him, he's named his next project -- remove the jargon, the arguments with those who disagree with him, the redundancies, the irrelevant digressions, and present a clear message about how both genetic evolution and cultural evolution have created our minds. This volume has all the material, but reads like a textbook.

    2 persone l'hanno trovata utile