Dennett's Philosophy

A Comprehensive Assessment

The influential philosopher Daniel Dennett is best known for his distinctive theory of mental content, his elucidation of how the complex components of mental processing seem to come together in the relatively coherent narratives that we tell ourselves about ourselves and in his vivid accounts of how to think about minds in their evolutionary setting. The essays in this collection step back to ask: Do the complex components of Dennett's work on intentionality, consciousness, evolution, and ethics themselves come together into a coherent philosophical system?

The essays, which grew out of a conference attended by Dennett, consider evolution, intentionality, consciousness, ontology, and ethics and free will. Unusually, for a collection of this kind, the authors were able to take account of Dennett's comments on their views. In the concluding essay, "With a Little Help from My Friends," Dennett offers his own thoughts on the comprehensiveness of his philosophy.

Contributors: Andrew Brook, Timothy Crowe, Daniel C. Dennett, Paul Dumouchel, Timothy Kenyon, Dan Lloyd, Ruth Garrett Millikan, T. Brian Mooney, Thomas Polger, David Rosenthal, Don Ross, William Seager, David Thompson, Christopher Viger.

Table of Contents

  1. Contributors
  2. Preface
  3. 1. Introduction: The Dennettian Stance

    Don Ross

  4. 2. Daniel Dennett's Views on the Power and Pervasiveness of Natural Selection: An Evolutionary Biologist's Perspective

    Timothy M. Crowe

  5. 3. Good Tricks and Forced Moves, or, The Antinomy of Natural Reason

    Paul Dumouchel

  6. 4. Reading Mother Nature's Mind

    Ruth Garrett Millikan

  7. 5. Indeterminacy and Realism

    Timothy Kenyon

  8. 6. Real Patterns and Surface Metaphysics

    William Seager

  9. 7. Where Do Dennett's Stances Stand? Explaining Our Kind of Mind

    Christopher Viger

  10. 8. Rainforest Realism: A Dennettian Theory of Existence

    Don Ross

  11. 9. Popping the Thought Balloon

    Dan Lloyd

  12. 10. Phenomenology and Heterophenomenology: Husseri and Dennett on Reality and Science

    David L. Thompson

  13. 11. Judgments and Drafts Eight Years Later

    Andrew Brook

  14. 12. Zombies Explained

    Thomas W. Polger

  15. 13. Content, Interpretation, and Consciousness

    David M. Rosenthal

  16. 14. Dennett on Ethics: Fitting the Facts against Greed for the Good

    T. Brian Mooney

  17. 15. With a Little Help from My Friends

    Daniel C. Dennett

  18. Name Index
  19. Subject Index