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Professor Daniel Dennett
Professor Daniel Dennett

Taking The Place of Religion

Date: 27th January 2011 (Thu)
Venue:
D4 Berkeley Hotel, Dublin 4

 

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Professor Daniel Dennett
has been described as one of the leading thinkers of our time. He is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.

This thought provoking talk on the future of religion is guaranteed get his audience thinking - religions have changed more in the last century than in the previous millennium, and perhaps they will change more in the decade to come than in the last century. A recent study by American evangelicals predicted that if current trends continue, "only four percent of teenagers will be Bible-believing Christians as adults.” Institutions and their roles are being rapidly transformed. What do we want to see them become and what steps should we take to ease these transitions?


Daniel C. Dennett, the author of Breaking the Spell (Viking, 2006), Freedom Evolves (Viking Penguin, 2003) and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Simon &Schuster, 1995), is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He lives with his wife in North Andover, Massachusetts, and has a daughter, a son, and three grandchildren. He was born in Boston in 1942, the son of a historian by the same name, and received his B.A. in philosophy from Harvard in 1963. He then went to Oxford to work with Gilbert Ryle, under whose supervision he completed the D.Phil. in philosophy in 1965. He taught at U.C. Irvine from 1965 to 1971, when he moved to Tufts, where he has taught ever since, aside from periods visiting at Harvard, Pittsburgh, Oxford, and the École Normale Supérieure in Paris.

His first book, Content and Consciousness, appeared in 1969, followed by Brainstorms (1978), Elbow Room (1984), The Intentional Stance (1987), Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995), Kinds of Minds (1996), and Brainchildren: A Collection of Essays 1984-1996 (MIT Press and Penguin, 1998). Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness, was published in 2005 by MIT Press. He co-edited The Mind's I with Douglas Hofstadter in 1981. He is the author of over three hundred scholarly articles on various aspects on the mind, published in journals ranging from Artificial Intelligence and Behavioral and Brain Sciences to Poetics Today and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

He gave the John Locke Lectures at Oxford in 1983, the Gavin David Young Lectures at Adelaide, Australia, in 1985, and the Tanner Lecture at Michigan in 1986, among many others. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987.

He was the Co-founder (in 1985) and Co-director of the Curricular Software Studio at Tufts, and has helped to design museum exhibits on computers for the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Science in Boston, and the Computer Museum in Boston.

He spends most of his summers on his farm in Maine, where he harvests blueberries, hay and timber, and makes Normandy cider wine, when he is not sailing. He is also a sculptor.

 


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