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FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK: The Evolution Of Minds – ✍ Daniel C. Dennett

FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK - Daniel C. Dennett

 

FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK – DANIEL C. DENNETT

I was very curious to read the latest book by the American Daniel C. Dennett, published just over two months ago by Past and Present. Dennett, one of the most prominent philosophers in the field of cognitive sciences, explains on this occasion the evolution of the mind within the framework of Darwin’s theory of natural selection.

As the author already comments in the prologue, the book aims to present.

¡SALE!
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
230 Reviews
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
  • Dennett, Daniel C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 02/20/2018 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)

“The skeleton of the best scientific theory we have today to explain how our minds arose, how our brains manage to work all their wonders and, especially, how to think about minds and brains without falling into seductive philosophical traps”.DANIEL C. DENNETT

¡SALE!
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
Dennett, Daniel C. (Author); English (Publication Language); 496 Pages - 02/20/2018 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)
$18.95 −23% $14.59

✍ REVIEW & OPINIONS Daniel C. Dennett’s book From bacteria to Bach and Back

REVIEW & OPINIONS Daniel C. Dennett's book From bacteria to Bach and Back

 

The most attractive thing about the book, no doubt, is its willingness to trace an access to the world of consciousness and cultural phenomena from a naturalist perspective.

This challenge, as opposed to any simplifying, spiritualistic or jumping temptation, offers very interesting results that no one should ignore, particularly those who devote their efforts to explaining the human condition and cultural life. However, the strength of Dennett’s arguments is not always the best.

In our opinion, the first part of the book is the most convincing and its theoretical and empirical support is contrasted.

Taking Darwin’s dangerous idea seriously is an excellent recommendation that allows us to sketch a much-needed vision of human and cultural reality, away from mentalist traps and delusions of anthropocentric grandeur.

Moreover, it should be the starting point of any philosophy of man or cultural theory.

Unfortunately, the European philosophical and humanist panorama lives somewhat on the margins of this circumstance.

Also suggestive, though less solid, is the author’s interpretation of conscience. It is quite true that, in this field, the findings are more conjectured and Dennett -like any other- moves in the realm of speculation.

Yet their central stakes – competence without understanding, critique of Cartesian gravity, and computer metaphors – outline a rich and stimulating research program worth delving into.

Curiously, the greatest weaknesses are presented in his memetic interpretation of culture and the gene-culture co-evolution. In our opinion, the author allows himself to be carried away by the fascinating perspective of meme without succeeding in dissuading us that the conception of culture as a population of memes competing with each other to propagate human brains has more appeal than heuristic value.

The animal roots of culture are linked to the development of diverse forms of social learning that function, above all, as a mechanism that facilitates the recreation of behaviors that other individuals have previously developed and that they keep active in their repertoire because their value system (the limbichypothalamic system) considers them useful. In this way, the individual who observes saves time and costs when developing them. But he is not a blind imitator: if the behavior he reproduces does not bring him benefits, he abandons it.

In human beings, the success of cumulative cultural transmission has resulted in a large number of knowledge and adaptive behaviours that no one could develop on their own.

We imitate behaviors that our cognitive value system thinks are better and, when we do not know which behaviors we should copy, we use cognitive shortcuts that lead us, for example, to preferentially imitate the most frequent or those individuals who have acquired more success and prestige in the group.

We are also highly sensitive to the opinions of others.

For this reason culture has hypertrophied and driven the evolution of neutral, or even negative, cultural traits from the point of view of adaptation.

However, it has done so by means of a preference strategy that takes into account factors other than the intrinsic properties of the memes themselves. We refer to factors such as those already mentioned: the valuations that others make of them, the frequency in the population of memes or the importance of the individuals who exhibit them.

Something that is contrary to the memetic evolution proposed by Dennett.

It is possible that Dennett, so demanding in his materialistic commitment, has ended up falling into his own trap. It is difficult for a philosopher to renounce inaugurating a new reality, a new ontological region, even more so if it can be demonstrated that it is endowed with performative powers as extraordinary as those attributed to the kingdom of the memes.

That new memetic cosmos, as ethereal as that of the Platonic eidos, would have achieved, moreover, what has never been seen before: that the most radical materialism would lead us to an idealism that has nothing to envy from that of the Greek master.

Who could resist that?

Let’s know now the opinions & reviews of readers and critics about book FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK, of Daniel C. Dennett.

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✍ SUMMARY & SYNOPSIS of Daniel C. Dennett’s book From bacteria to Bach and Back

SUMMARY & SYNOPSIS of Daniel C. Dennett's book From bacteria to Bach and Back

 

Human consciousness is so rare that it seems wonderful. Our species has won the race for survival among the planet’s vertebrates, and today we and our domestic animals are more than 98 percent. But this is only a small fraction of terrestrial life. Most living beings who have lived, live and will live on Earth in an evolutionarily competent way do so without understanding that they exist or why.

What Daniel Dennett (Boston, 1942) calls “competence without understanding” and Borges poetically expressed:

There won’t be one thing I know that his name is strange“.DANIEL C. DENNETT - FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK: The Evolution of Minds

Dennett is perhaps the best-known materialistic philosopher of recent decades. Critics have described him as an “intellectual fanatic” for his efforts to eliminate any vestige of spiritual explanation, although it is likely that this last work, From Bacteria to Bach, will also irritate modern intellectual sectors such as animal rights advocates because of his questioning of non-human animal consciousness.

This fighter of reason cannot be denied fervent dedication to the cause. At a time when skepticism about analytical powers is flourishing, if there is one thing that makes this mature work stand out, it is its genuine determination to convince. Dennett takes into account his intellectual enemies and carves a lush argument aimed not only at explaining his idea, but also at exposing the common obstacles that oppose him.

Perhaps the most potent of these biases and prejudices is what the author calls “Cartesian gravity,” the ingrained temptation to believe that what exists is either physical or spiritual, and consequently the refusal to accept that the living may come from something non-living, and the conscious from something nonconscious. However, this transit is just the conclusion of modern evolutionary theory, “Darwin’s strange inversion” that turns upside down two millennia of thought, whose central dogma was the intelligent design of life. Another powerful “Cartesian” gravitational force has to do with the resistance to accepting that the evolution of consciousness is explained “by mere material processes”.

Not only theologians or reactionary philosophers, most people find little intuitive, or unsatisfactory, the explanation that life can arise from something that is not life, that the processes we call intelligent are made up of “silly” elements, and ultimately that consciousness can arise from things that have no consciousness at all.

For Dennett there is a conflict here between the “manifest image” of the world, or the set of inherited assumptions that broadly form common sense about how things work, and the “scientific image” of the world, a rare fruit of human analytical powers and their peculiar search for reasons.

From this evolutionary new “scientific image” Dennett proposes to understand consciousness not as a wonder created “from top to bottom” by an intelligent designer, but as a “system of virtual machines” evolved “from bottom to top” adapted to the particular human cognitive niche, of very recent construction in the last millennia. The global understanding achieved by human brains is therefore a costly product of biological evolution made up of local and specialized skills that they do not understand themselves.

As Darwin indicates, paradoxically, the evolution of consciousness is the process by which the “manifest image” is made manifest to us, allowing the evolution of reasons and a level of comprehension not reached by another species, and that is not even appreciated in the horizon of artificial intelligence. Daniel C. Dennett’s audacity is to maintain, despite more widespread consensus, that the human being remains unique.

We now come to a summary and synopsis of the latest book by Daniel C. Dennett, FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK.


✍ QUOTES from the book Daniel C. Dennett’s From bacteria to Bach and Back

These are the best quotes or phrases from the book From bacteria to Bach and Back de Daniel C. Dennett:

“Asked by a student for an example of infectious cultural junk that is hard to eradicate, I replied: Well, it’s like, when, like, you use a phrase which, like, isn’t really, like, doing any serious work, but, like you go on, like, using it.

To which the student replied, “I, like, understand the point, but I wanted, like, an example.”DANIEL C. DENNETT - FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK

“Darwin’s “strange inversion of reasoning” and Turing’s equally revolutionary inversion were aspects of a single discovery: competence without comprehension.

Comprehension, far from being a Godlike talent from which all design must flow, is an emergent effect of systems of uncomprehending competence: natural selection on the one hand, and mindless computation on the other.

These twin ideas have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt, but they still provoke dismay and disbelief in some quarters, which I have tried to dispel in this chapter.

Creationists are not going to find commented code in the inner workings of organisms, and Cartesians are not going to find an immaterial res cogitans “where all the understanding happens.”DANIEL C. DENNETT - FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK

“Don’t be afraid of a little metaphor; it won’t bite you, but you should always make sure you know how to cash it in for unvarnished fact when you feel the urge.”DANIEL C. DENNETT - FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK

“If I burst into a house and yell to all assembled, “Put on the kettle!” I have uttered an imperative English sentence, but some will probably infer that I would like to have a cup of tea or other hot beverage, while another may further surmise that I feel myself at home here, and may in fact be the occupant of this house.

Yet another person present, a monoglot Hungarian, may infer only that I speak English, and so does whomever I am addressing (well, it sounds like English to her), while somebody really in the know will be instantly informed that I have decided after all to steam open that sealed envelope and surreptitiously read the letter inside in spite of the fact that it isn’t addressed to me; a crime is about to be committed.

What semantic information can be gleaned from the event depends on what information the gleaner already has accumulated.

Learning that somebody speaks English can be a valuable update to your world knowledge, a design improvement that may someday pay big dividends.”DANIEL C. DENNETT - FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK

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✍ ALL Daniel C. Dennett’s books

This is the complete bibliography of Daniel C. Dennett and the listing of all his published books, ordered by sales number:

¡SALE!BEST SELLER No. 1 Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
¡SALE!BEST SELLER No. 2 DARWIN'S DANGEROUS IDEA: EVOLUTION AND THE MEANINGS OF LIFE
¡SALE!BEST SELLER No. 3 Consciousness Explained
¡SALE!BEST SELLER No. 4 From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
¡SALE!BEST SELLER No. 5 Elbow Room, new edition: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (A Bradford Book)
¡SALE!BEST SELLER No. 6 Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking

✍ Last book by DANIEL C. DENNETT

This is the last book published by the Daniel C. Dennett:

¡SALE!
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
230 Reviews
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
  • Dennett, Daniel C. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 02/20/2018 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)

Without a doubt, this latest book by Daniel C. Dennett is one of the best that he has published in recent years.

We will be on the lookout for new publications by Daniel C. Dennett, for the time being to enjoy his latest installment: From bacteria to Bach and Back


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¡SALE!
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
Dennett, Daniel C. (Author); English (Publication Language); 496 Pages - 02/20/2018 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)
$18.95 −23% $14.59

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✅ EBOOK (ePub) and KINDLE (MOBI) From bacteria to Bach and Back

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From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
Dennett, Daniel C. (Author); English (Publication Language); 496 Pages - 02/20/2018 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)
$18.95 −23% $14.59

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From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
Dennett, Daniel C. (Author); English (Publication Language); 496 Pages - 02/20/2018 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)
$18.95 −23% $14.59

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Audible Audiobook; Daniel C. Dennett (Author) - Tom Perkins (Narrator); English (Publication Language)
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I hope you enjoy the listening the Audiobook FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK of Daniel C. Dennett.

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From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
230 Reviews
From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Daniel C. Dennett (Author) - Tom Perkins (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 02/07/2017 (Publication Date) - HighBridge, a Division of Recorded Books (Publisher)

Precio del libro FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK

Without a doubt, this Daniel C. Dennett’s book “FROM BACTERIA TO BACH AND BACK” is totally recommendable.

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Last updated on  2020-07-14 / Affiliate Links to Amazon / Affiliate API Images