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1 Burnside Psychology- Cognitive Science

Freedom Evolves

by

Freedom Evolves Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An "intellectually liberating" (San Francisco Chronicle) exploration of free will and morality — from the acclaimed author of Darwin's Dangerous Idea.

Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers "yes!" Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original arguments — drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, and philosophy — that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally.

In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.

Review:

"[An] incendiary, brilliant, even dangerous book." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[Dennett] is always ready to offer real-world examples of his points and rarely ducks tough questions. Difficult but nonetheless stimulating look into the roots of freedom and responsibility." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Dennett is crisp and critically insightful on all sorts of flabby presuppositions....But for all its virtues, I doubt that Freedom Evolves will last as one of Dennett's better books." The Washington Post Book World

Synopsis:

As in his previous books, Dennett weaves a richly detailed narrative enlivened by analogies as entertaining as they are challenging. Here is the story of how mankind came to be different from all other creatures, how early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave humans their minds, their visions, moral problems — in a nutshell, their freedom.

Synopsis:

Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers “yes!” Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original

arguments—drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive  neuroscience, economics, and philosophy—that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.

Synopsis:

Daniel C. Dennett is a brilliant polemicist, famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies. Over the last thirty years, he has played a major role in expanding our understanding of consciousness, developmental psychology, and evolutionary theory. And with such groundbreaking, critically acclaimed books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist), he has reached a huge general and professional audience.

In this new book, Dennett shows that evolution is the key to resolving the ancient problems of moral and political freedom. Like the planet's atmosphere on which life depends, the conditions on which our freedom depends had to evolve, and like the atmosphere, they continue to evolve-and could be extinguished. According to Dennett, biology provides the perspective from which we can distinguish the varieties of freedom that matter. Throughout the history of life on this planet, an interacting web and internal and external conditions have provided the frameworks for the design of agents that are more free than their parts-from the unwitting gropings of the simplest life forms to the more informed activities of animals to the moral dilemmas that confront human beings living in societies.

As in his previous books, Dennett weaves a richly detailed narrative enlivened by analogies as entertaining as they are challenging. Here is the story of how we came to be different from all other creatures, how our early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave us our minds, our visions, our moral problems-in a nutshell, our freedom.

About the Author

Daniel C. Dennett is a university professor and the director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. In addition to Darwin's Dangerous Idea, he is also the author of Kinds of Minds and Consciousness Explained.

Table of Contents

freedom evolves Preface

Chapter 1: Natural Freedom

Learning What We Are

I Am Who I Am

The Air We Breathe

Dumbo's Magic Feather and the Peril of Paulina

Chapter 2: A Tool For Thinking About Determinism

Some Useful Oversimplifications

From Physics to Design in Conway's Life World

Can We Get The Deus ex Machina?

From Slow-motion Avoidance to Star Wars

The Birth of Evitability

Chapter 3: Thinking About Determinism

Possible Worlds

Causation

Austin's Putt

A Computer Chess Marathon

Events without Causes in a Deterministic Universe

Will the Future Be Like the Past?

Chapter 4: A Hearing For Libertarianism

The Appeal of Libertarianism

Where Should We Put the Much-needed Gap?

Kane's Model of Indeterministic Decision-making

"If you make yourself really small, you can externalize virtually everything"

Beware of Prime Mammals

How Can It Be "Up to Me"?

Chapter 5: Where Does All The Design Come From?

Early Days

The Prisoner's Dilemma

E Pluribus Unum?

Digression: The Threat of Genetic Determinism

Degrees of Freedom and the Search for Truth

Chapter 6: The Evolution Of Open Minds

How Cultural Symbionts Turn Primates into Persons

The Diversity of Darwinian Explanations

Nice Tools, but You Still Have to Use Them

Chapter 7: The Evolution Of Moral Agency

Benselfishness

Being Good in Order to Seem Good

Learning to Deal with Yourself

Our Costly Merit Badges

Chapter 8: Are You Out Of The Loop?

Drawing the Wrong Moral

Whenever the Spirit Moves You

A Mind-writer's View

A Self of One's Own

Chapter 9: Bootstrapping Ourselves Free

How We Captured Reasons and Made Them Our Own

Psychic Engineering and the Arms Race of Rationality

With a Little Help from My Friends

Autonomy, Brainwashing, and Education

Chapter 10: The Future Of Human Freedom

Holding the Line against Creeping Exculpation

"Thanks, I Needed That"

Are We Freer Than We Want to Be?

Human Freedom Is Fragile

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780670031863
Author:
Dennett, Daniel Clement
Publisher:
Viking Adult
Author:
Dennett, Daniel C.
Location:
New York
Subject:
Decision-making
Subject:
Free Will & Determinism
Subject:
Free will and determinism
Subject:
General Philosophy
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Hardback
Series Volume:
GM-50
Publication Date:
20030210
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9.46x6.38x1.18 in. 1.44 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » Cognitive Science
Humanities » Philosophy » General

Freedom Evolves Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Viking Books - English 9780670031863 Reviews:
"Review" by , "[An] incendiary, brilliant, even dangerous book."
"Review" by , "[Dennett] is always ready to offer real-world examples of his points and rarely ducks tough questions. Difficult but nonetheless stimulating look into the roots of freedom and responsibility."
"Review" by , "Dennett is crisp and critically insightful on all sorts of flabby presuppositions....But for all its virtues, I doubt that Freedom Evolves will last as one of Dennett's better books."
"Synopsis" by , As in his previous books, Dennett weaves a richly detailed narrative enlivened by analogies as entertaining as they are challenging. Here is the story of how mankind came to be different from all other creatures, how early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave humans their minds, their visions, moral problems — in a nutshell, their freedom.
"Synopsis" by ,

Can there be freedom and free will in a deterministic world? Renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett emphatically answers “yes!” Using an array of provocative formulations, Dennett sets out to show how we alone among the animals have evolved minds that give us free will and morality. Weaving a richly detailed narrative, Dennett explains in a series of strikingly original

arguments—drawing upon evolutionary biology, cognitive  neuroscience, economics, and philosophy—that far from being an enemy of traditional explorations of freedom, morality, and meaning, the evolutionary perspective can be an indispensable ally. In Freedom Evolves, Dennett seeks to place ethics on the foundation it deserves: a realistic, naturalistic, potentially unified vision of our place in nature.

"Synopsis" by , Daniel C. Dennett is a brilliant polemicist, famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies. Over the last thirty years, he has played a major role in expanding our understanding of consciousness, developmental psychology, and evolutionary theory. And with such groundbreaking, critically acclaimed books as Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist), he has reached a huge general and professional audience.

In this new book, Dennett shows that evolution is the key to resolving the ancient problems of moral and political freedom. Like the planet's atmosphere on which life depends, the conditions on which our freedom depends had to evolve, and like the atmosphere, they continue to evolve-and could be extinguished. According to Dennett, biology provides the perspective from which we can distinguish the varieties of freedom that matter. Throughout the history of life on this planet, an interacting web and internal and external conditions have provided the frameworks for the design of agents that are more free than their parts-from the unwitting gropings of the simplest life forms to the more informed activities of animals to the moral dilemmas that confront human beings living in societies.

As in his previous books, Dennett weaves a richly detailed narrative enlivened by analogies as entertaining as they are challenging. Here is the story of how we came to be different from all other creatures, how our early ancestors mindlessly created human culture, and then, how culture gave us our minds, our visions, our moral problems-in a nutshell, our freedom.

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