Magazine article The Humanist

Humanist Profile: Daniel C. Dennett (1942-Present) 2004 Humanist of the Year

Magazine article The Humanist

Humanist Profile: Daniel C. Dennett (1942-Present) 2004 Humanist of the Year

Article excerpt

"We are all around you: we're doctors, nurses, police officers, schoolteachers, crossing guards and men and women serving in the military.... Among scientists, we are a commanding majority.... We are, in fact, the moral backbone of the nation ... precisely because [we] don't trust God to save humanity from its follies."

--Daniel C. Dennett, "The Bright Stuff" in the New York Times, July 12, 2003

Daniel C. Dennett was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on March 28, 1942. He earned his B.A. in philosophy from Harvard University in 1963 and, two years later, received his doctorate in philosophy under the guidance of the philosopher Gilbert Ryle at Oxford University. Then from 1965 to 1971 Dennett taught at the University of California. Since that time he has taught mainly at Tufts University--being Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies--with occasional visits to other universities around the globe.

Dennett's interests are focused primarily on the philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. He has authored over 200 scholarly papers along with several books that have received both academic and critical acclaim: Content and Consciousness (1969), Brainstorms (1978), Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995), Kinds of Minds (1996), Brainchildren: A Collection of Essays 1984-1996 (1998), Freedom Evolves (2003), and Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness (2005). …

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