Read Tipuri mentale by Daniel C. Dennett Online


Combining ideas from philosophy, artificial intelligence, and neurobiology, Daniel Dennett leads the reader on a fascinating journey of inquiry, exploring such intriguing possibilities as: Can any of us really know what is going on in someone else's mind? What distinguishes the human mind from the minds of animals, especially those capable of complex behavior? If such animCombining ideas from philosophy, artificial intelligence, and neurobiology, Daniel Dennett leads the reader on a fascinating journey of inquiry, exploring such intriguing possibilities as: Can any of us really know what is going on in someone else's mind? What distinguishes the human mind from the minds of animals, especially those capable of complex behavior? If such animals, for instance, were magically given the power of language, would their communities evolve an intelligence as subtly discriminating as ours? Will robots, once they have been endowed with sensory systems like those that provide us with experience, ever exhibit the particular traits long thought to distinguish the human mind, including the ability to think about thinking? Dennett addresses these questions from an evolutionary perspective. Beginning with the macromolecules of DNA and RNA, the author shows how, step-by-step, animal life moved from the simple ability to respond to frequently recurring environmental conditions to much more powerful ways of beating the odds, ways of using patterns of past experience to predict the future in never-before-encountered situations. Whether talking about robots whose video-camera ”eyes” give us the powerful illusion that ”there is somebody in there” or asking us to consider whether spiders are just tiny robots mindlessly spinning their webs of elegant design, Dennett is a master at finding and posing questions sure to stimulate and even disturb....

Title : Tipuri mentale
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ISBN : 15720153
Format Type : Other Book
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Tipuri mentale Reviews

  • Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
    2019-06-24 09:18

    I listened to this via audio book format as read wonderfully by Dennett himself. Last night/early morning I woke up abruptly in the grip of a vague sort of existential terror and once I got my footing again, I felt a type of comfort in hearing Dennett's calm yet extremely engaged and enthusiastic voice--explaining complex things about the improbable evolution of sentient beings--emerging from the tiny speakers of my laptop. At first, I was seized by a thought like, "I don't want to hear about this, I don't wanna die!" but then I stopped acting like a child who thinks the universe is created for them to enjoy, that their life is supposed to never end, and fell back into trying to appreciate the fact that I'm allowed to live at all, to appreciate the astounding confluence of myriad forces holding all that is beautiful and makes life worthy living together. I see Dennett as an unknowing player in a third wave of existentialism (Owen Flanagan incisively identifies three waves of existentialism), a more proactive period in philosophy which makes real and serious attempts to overcome the "nausea" Sartre spoke of, and all the other variations of this so-called "existential despair."This would get five stars if I wasn't already so familiar with many of the central ideas in this book from Dennett's other work and lectures. Much of this seems like a rehashing of the (great) ideas found within The Intentional Stance (the name of one of the chapters), Consciousness Explained, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Freedom Evolves and Elbow Room. Dennett's explanation of and solution to the problem of free will is brilliantly executed, albeit not terribly unique. His position on this is called "compatiblism" and it's been floating around at least since the days of David Hume, but regardless it is explained in a very uniquely understandable and morally edifying way. Dennett is fast becoming one of my favorite philosophers of all time. I really enjoy his use of metaphor throughout all of his writing. He makes incredibly deep ideas "tangible" through this adept and dare I say "literary" or "poetic" use of language, and his immensely clear and direct wielding of concepts. His work is pretty consistently a wonderful interweaving of multiple fields of philosophy and both the "hard" and "soft" sciences and he also displays a quasi-polymathic understanding of the fine arts as well. Even when those he's pitted against philosophically describe this as an insult, I find it to be a compliment, i.e., Thomas Nagel once glibly referred to Dennett as "Gilbert Ryle meets Scientific American." But I say fuck you, Nagel, and I say three cheers for scientifically informed philosophy and philosophically informed science.

  • Riku Sayuj
    2019-06-15 14:10

    Raises very potent questions but answers almost none. Dennett is content with showing 3-4 potential ways of looking at any question and then telling us that to go beyond is a challenge even for modern science. The arguments are smooth and the book gives a good evolutionary understanding of the way we frame thoughts and ascribe consciousness. The model of mind that Dennett has created is a bit dated for me, but I enjoyed the long range perspective he brought into it. the section on dogs was probably the best part for me.PS. References to Susan Sontag is becoming overwhelming in books I read and I guess I will end up ordering one of her books soon.

  • Greg
    2019-06-10 08:15

    Dan Dennett wrote a fairy tale. No really. It begins a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away (think about it). And it's a beautiful story about minds...all kinds of minds. Dennett tell us a story through space and time that explains not only the evolution of minds from simple molecules, but of the evolution of minds in the developing human. Along the way he tackles intentionality and representation, and the importance of relative time frames and language. Not only does he explain difficult philosophical concepts, but he explains them in such an easy accessible manner that before you realize it's happened, you've learned a concept that philosophy students spend countless hours studying. Dennett is masterful at storytelling, and in this book his style of writing really shines. ------------------------A few quibbles. His story is mostly told from the standpoint of evolution, and I think it's dangerous to overgeneralize both evolved functionality and behavior from an evolutionary standpoint. It's a difficult story to tell, precisely because so much of it is dark to us. Dennett believes, and makes a strong case for, the fact that language is absolutely necessary for thought and representation. That without words you can't have concepts, and without concepts there is nothing going on, on the inside. I spend a lot of time thinking about the relationship between language and consciousness, and I think Dennett certainly makes some very valuable points, but the fact is...we have no idea what it's like to be a creature of our prospective intelligence, but without a way to create structured symbols to represent concepts. Also, from a neurophysiological standpoint, I'd argue representation IS possible without language, though it's a degraded form of it. But I will say, even with as much as I've read in this field, Dennett surprised me with a few examples and arguments that might have to make me rethink some concepts in Philosophy of Mind/consciousness that I took for granted. Thank you Dan, always a pleasure.

  • JJVid
    2019-06-09 09:22

    "This book began with a host of questions, and -- since this is a book by a philosopher -- it ends not with the answers, but, I hope, with better versions of the questions themselves." p 168.This is an important caveat for those hoping, upon picking up this book, to find a definite and unblurred demarcation between "conscious" or "sentient" beings. Dennett offers no quick and easy answer, but he does offer a compelling perspective in which to view this question under a different light. The crux for consciousness is on natural language and its ability to represent internal and external objects within the mind. This is not an entirely new concept; the idea that symbols are the hallmark of consciousness is implicit in the very idea of consciousness... there cannot be an "I" to suffer if the organism experiencing pain is incapable of representing the concept of "itself" as the one experiencing the suffering. Without a concept of self, a concept necessarily reliant on symbolizing, then it cannot be legitimately said that an organism is suffering... it is merely pain. We do not recoil in horror at inflicting pain on "lesser" animals (e.g. crabs, spiders, etc.) since we are unquestionably certain that we are not harming a conscious being. The morally imperative difference between sensitivity to pain and sentience of suffering is contingent on the development of an organism being capable of reflecting on the pain it endures with a yearning for relief, a despair of its current state, a bitter regretting of the foolish actions that led it to this crisis. Such sentience is contingent on the ability to internally symbolize the being experiencing pain as "myself". It is only with the introduction of "I" that morality becomes a key component. (This is, obviously, a vast oversimplification... I'm not condoning rampant torturing of "non-sentient" organisms. Dennett advocates a gradient of "sentience", one which is not readily discernable at present, but he provides many thought experiments to test your intuitive notions that certain creatures are endowed or bereft of this magical X quality. Read the book for the subtleties.)The development of symbols, being capable of internalizing the external world, allows for representation of the environment within the mind. And the fascinating characteristic of symbols is the ability to re-represent them, to not only be capable of thinking about objects when they are not present but to think about the thinking itself. This sort of bootstrapping takes the creature from mere thinking about the environment (including the self) to thinking about the thinking itself. Symbols of the external world now become concepts which may be thought about in their own right in an ever-increasing hierarchy of representation, re-representation, re-re-representation, etc. Symbols are the prerequisites of language, the ability to convey meaning in the absence of what is being referred, and allowing a culture to form. Symbols may also be "off-loaded" onto the environment in the form of tools, books, and other artifacts. We alleviate the cognitive burden of keeping everything in mind by off-loading these symbols and then manipulating them to perform cognitive feats that would be impossible (or at least extraordinarily difficult) otherwise. Try multiplying a couple three digit numbers (385 x 924) without the use of paper. By off-loading symbols we can manipulate them and incorporate the product. We need not off-load only to the environment outside ourselves, but can do so within the echo chamber of our minds. This ability to represent and re-represent is a characteristic of the human mind and a (seemingly) unique feat in the animal kindgom. And due to this off-loading outside ourselves we impinge our minds to the environment, we store our minds outside ourselves, and so where, really, does the "I" exist?

  • Psi
    2019-06-25 15:06

    I listened to the audiobook.Although I expected the book to be different I really enjoyed it. It deals with topics such as the idea of the intentional stance, the importance of speed in our understanding of consciousness and intelligence, functionalism, a simple hierarchy for classifying minds and pain and suffering, offering interesting views and arguments. Definitely an interesting read if you are interested in the discussion of consciousness or animal rights.Some ideas I found interesting on this book are:- The distinction between the physical, design and intentional stance and their usefulness on prediction (even if we apply them to things that are not designed of are not agents).- A mind might have to be at least as speed as the events it acts onto be considered sentient- Language might be the defining characteristic of human mind. There is no equivalent internal stream of consciousness in other animals- Dissociation may help us explain the difference between human-like experience of suffering and non human suffering- Pain as time✕intensity might not make a lot of sense since an agent might prefer 5 seconds of intense pain instead of a year of low pain.

  • Gendou
    2019-06-04 10:11

    A nice, short book that examines the philosophy of mind, consciousness.One theme is exploring what sets humans apart, and what we have in common with other animals.Another theme is the moral issue of pain and suffering.I wouldn't say this book is very mind-blowing, no outrageous conclusions are reached.Instead, Dennett presents a useful re-framing of common questions, as philosophers are oft to do.The book's thesis might be that consciousness, as we know it, inherits from the language instinct.Dennett proposes our conscious self is a concept attributed to the dominating forces in our behavior.These dominating forces themselves are concepts, too, and so a part of our linguistic development.

  • Chris Rock
    2019-06-25 10:12

    I think I'm going to have to listen to this one again. This book was my first introduction to thinking about consciousness and the definition of "mind". As such it was pretty good. I found a lot of the arguments compelling and convincing.The ending snuck up on me--I was a little surprised when it finished, as I felt that we had barely scratched the surface of the topic.Recommended for anyone interested in understanding how we can determine what makes an organism sentient.

  • Paul ataua
    2019-06-14 13:23

    It's a fairly interesting read. Dennett employs philosophy, evolution, neuroscience, and artificial intelligence to examine the nature of minds. Most irritating, however, is Dennett's arrogance. I found myself adding ' I would argue that' before every time he said 'it is', and adding ' and some people still do' when he said 'people used to think...". Dennett is one smart cookie, and really doesn't need to appeal to the power of persuasive language to make his points.

  • Panteha
    2019-06-18 08:23

    According to Daniel Dennett, even though we would like to think that non-human species are thinking beings, there are different degrees of sentience. In a nutshell, intentionality is what separates the higher order beings from those who are incapable of keeping secretes for example, verbal communication, and acquiring and reflecting on concepts. In combing through this question, he invokes everyone from Socrates to Skinner.

  • Richard
    2019-06-20 13:15

    makes you wonder and thats about it. Consiousness is a deep concept that is not easily guessed at or scientifically understood. Dennett brings up some interesting and fascinating ideas but thats all they are.

  • Ivi
    2019-06-12 08:14


  • Eli
    2019-06-26 09:07

    Very thought-provoking. I began this book resistant to its message, as I had watched speeches by Dennett that had left me unconvinced. Specifically I had taken away from those presentations that to Dennett consciousness, or "mindhood", was nothing more than a byproduct of the organization of the brain, which, while potentially true, was dismissive of the subjectiveness of being, something separated from objective analysis by (to me) an unbridgeable chasm. I've heard it facetiously argued that perhaps those who utterly dismiss subjectivity and "qualia" themselves have no minds -- they are walking philosophical zombies. Well the charge is false with Dennett, because he devotes a whole chapter to such concerns in this book. The contemptuousness held toward the subjective was entirely imagined on my part. Still, while I can agree that consciousness might be nothing more than a principle of organization, no amount of puzzling over it has ever allowed me to intuit such a result.The main premise of Kinds of Minds is that, instead of an arbitrary cutoff between conscious and unconscious creatures, there is a fuzzy gradation, with the fundamental kinds of consciousness changing along the way. What's more surprising is the way he uses current science to actually flesh out reasonable guesses as to what some of of these kinds of consciousness might look like. He uses the same experiments and thought experiments to propose that human consciousness might be further removed from the animal kind than we tend to think, and that language is the key innovation that has endowed us with conceptual consciousness.It's clear to me that my own tendency has been to extend the envelope of consciousness to a broader host of organisms than most people do. But when I think about it now I will be reminding myself that other animals are not just Humanity, Lite, but qualitatively different, in a way that may be difficult or impossible to imagine in anything other than a stretched analogy.I read this because I very much like such imaginings, and I was not disappointed.

  • Andrew Feist
    2019-05-28 11:22

    Very short, concise account of Dennett's approach to the mind and how it relates to other creatures. It is very well explained, however not that strongly argued. It is certainly written as an addendum to Consciousness Explained, however it might be better to read this first. In fact, I'd say its a great introduction to anyone who interested in a materialist philosophy of mind, or generally, cognitive science. It explains the big problems, and what he opines to be the best approaches. He gives no consideration to non-materialist approaches, its more of an explanation of his view than and argumentation for it.Nevertheless, I always enjoy Dennett's style and thought process. I read this in a day (traveling), would recommend it highly. It gives a great tour through philosophy methods and ethology findings, resulting in a greater understanding of human consciousness and animal minds (or protominds).

  • Hilary
    2019-05-31 15:00

    Although I do not necessarily agree with all that Dennett stated in this book, I have to say that he stated it exceptionally well. This was an accessible, high level philosophical book detailing the conception of animal minds vs. human minds. Each philosophical concept he put forward he carefully defined and explained with often amusing examples. The ideas that he came up with himself (i.e. The Tower of Generate and Test, mamataxis, etc.) were novel and interesting without being too difficult to grasp. I enjoyed the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Although the book was dense in its content, it never strayed too far from what is easily grasped with a bit of mental effort. I'd recommend this alongside Species of Mind which addresses several small flaws in some conclusions that he draws.

  • Kevin
    2019-06-16 13:01

    Quick read with some interesting points about the differences between one animal and another ... and human animals, too. Instinctual minds, conditioned minds, behavior-based minds, and hypothesizing minds. Each of these are different levels and capable of different things, but also limited in certain ways.The author has a nice piece about pain vs suffering which I particularly enjoyed. It especially went well with some other reading I've not too distantly read, such as Eating Animals. Puts an animals pain vs suffering in context. Although I'm not sure this is what the author intended, his point was applicable to complex minds making suffering capable.

  • Rakan
    2019-06-26 07:58

    ما هو الوعي؟ ما الفرق بين وعي الانسان والحيوان والنباتات والكائنات الدقيقة؟ في هذا الكتاب يُعرف الفيلسوف دانييل دينيت الوعي ويتحدث عن تطوره من الكائنات الدقيقة الأولى إلى ما نراه الآن في الانسان والقردة العليا والكائنات الأخرى التي تشابهها في درجة الوعييتطرق دينيت إلى ما يسميه بـ(الحالة المتعمدة) أو (المقصودة) وهي طريقة رائعة تجعلنا ننظر إلى الوعي من زاوية مختلفة تماماً، تقارب بين الكائنات "الواعية" و"غير الواعية"ـالكتاب لا يجيب على الكثير من الأسئلة لكنه بلا شك يفتح الباب لفهم الوعي والإدراك

  • Ivan Kraljevic
    2019-06-14 10:04

    Dennettova knjiga Vrste umova: k razumijevanju svijesti provokativna je od prve do posljednje stranice. Ona nas poziva da o problemu uma i svijesti razmišljamo na potpuno drugačiji način od onoga tradicionalnoga prema kojemu su um i svijest nešto posebno, nešto potpuno različito od materije i procesa u njoj, te stoga nešto što je izvan dosega znanstvene spoznaje. Dennetov rad na razmeđi filozofije uma, kognitivne znanosti, umjetne inteligencije i biologije, kao i radovi na temu slobode volje i religije, pristupačno su i poticajno štivo za šire čitateljstvo.

  • Ola
    2019-05-30 08:01

    Vad skall man säga?Ställer frågor, men kommer inte fram till några tydliga svar.Intressantast blir boken när han diskuterar djurens eventuella medvetande/lidande kopplat till etik. En lätt vidröring av ämnet djurrätt även om det inte på något sätt är bokens fokus.Känns ibland som han drar förhastade slutsatser...utan att det leder någonstans.

  • Liedzeit
    2019-06-13 09:05

    A very good summary of his thoughts on consciousness. The book I would recommend to the layman.

  • José Luis
    2019-06-13 11:04

    Mais um livro fantástico do Daniel Dennett. Para explicar e discutir sua teoria dos tipos de mentes, ele estabelece três tipos de criaturas: Skinnerian creatures, que respondem a estímulos; Popperian creatures, que sobrevivem melhor porque são capazes de fazer escolhas conscientes, não apenas baseadas em instintos e reflexos primitivos; Gregorian creatures, capazes de usar conhecimento prévio e disponível no mundo real para fazer suas escolhas. Fica bem clara a diferença entre o comportamento de animais que aparentemente exibem comportamento humano (porque nós humanos olhamos para esses animais como se fossem humanos e enxergamos neles esse comportamento), e o comportamento dos seres que têm linguagem como forma de se expressar. A linguagem é que faz toda a diferença na questão da formação de conceitos, raciocínio, etc. É uma leitura intrigante, interessante e muito rica, exige esforço intelectual para ir adiante e entender. E como ele mesmo diz no final: "This book began with a host of questions, and - since this is a book by a philosopher - it ends with no answers but, I hope, with better versions of the questions themselves.".

  • Mark
    2019-06-27 09:13

    (I originally published this review in 1996 in American Scientist)At one point in his new book Kinds of Minds Daniel Dennett notes that “we (humans), in contrast are believe alls. There is no limit, apparently to what we can believe”(p 44). In Kinds of Minds Dennett is out to convince us that “mindfulness”is an attribute which we may justifiably apply to non-human entities, and that in so doing we will gain a more accurate view of our own minds. Should we believe him?Dennett’s approach to “mind”is evolutionary. That is, he assumes first that humans have minds and second that there haven’t always been minds. Hence, natural selection must account for our possession of “mindfulness.” Of course, Dennett’s rhetoric to the contrary, one needn’t accept these initial assumptions. He states, “Now, it certainly does not follow from the fact that we are descended from robots that we are robots ourselves. After all, we are also direct descendants of fish, and we are not fish...So something made of robots can exhibit genuine consciousness, because you do if anything does”(p 23-24). What is the reader to make of such a statement? Ignoring whether “mind”and “genuine consciousness” are related, does it follow that we are not robots because we are not fish? Logically, no. Dennett’s assertions that humans have minds while grains of sand, plants, and autonomic nervous systems don’t are just that--assertions. The reader is not helped by the fact that Dennett does not define “mind” during the first third of the book. This lack of a definition imperils Dennet’s third assumption that natural selection can operate on “mindfulness.” Natural selection can produce structural changes in a species over time, say make the average length of a beak longer, and these changes can affect an organism’s potential behaviors. Yet, no scientist would take seriously the claim that natural selection operates on a concept such as “liberty” (although clearly, concepts do experience their own selection pressures). Is “mind” an ability or a linguistic concept? Definitions do matter. If one manages to stay with Dennett past the first third of Kinds of Minds there are certain rewards. Dennett does eventually, vaguely define mind as an “expectation generator” or an “information processor.” Further, he proposes a system, his “intentional stance,” for comparing mind-like behaviors across entities. If we say that a human chess player makes a particular move because he or she believes it will eventually produce a desired result (i.e. victory), why not also ascribe such beliefs and motivations to a computer chess player? And aren’t choices made on the basis of beliefs toward a desired goal the hallmarks of “mindfulness?” In short, an intentional stance makes non-human minds possible.The common measuring stick provided by the intentional stance allows Dennett to propose a progressive taxonomy of mind-like behaviors. This taxonomy contains four stages: 1) hard-wired response patterns (a grouping he terms “Darwinan”), 2) behaviors selected directly via reward and punishment (“Skinnerian”), 3) behaviors selected by considered rewards and punishments (“Popperian”), and 4) behaviors which make use of culturally transmitted tools (“Gregorian”). Explicit thought or reflection, says Dennett, is only possible in Gregorian creatures who possess the cultural tool of language.However, there are many types of thinking, and unfortunately, that presented by Dennett in Kinds of Minds strikes this reviewer as peculiarly sloppy. Consider, for example, the just mentioned taxonomy of “mind-like” behaviors. Aside from the fact that Dennett’s taxonomy casts a progressive shadow over evolutionary history, Dennett makes several dubious claims in support of this taxonomy. “We human beings,” he writes, “have the capacity for quick, insightful learning--learning that does not depend upon laborious training” (p133). For example, in psychological experiments, whereas non-human animals require hours of training, humans can “usually just be told what is desired of them.” Such a statement blithely ignores human cognitive development and the years of laborious learning most human subjects bring with them to psychological experiments. In conclusion Kinds of Minds is a frustrating book. Should we accept Dennett’s claims that non-human entities have minds? Why not. We are left, though, no closer to understanding the fundamental differences between human and non-human pyschological processes.

  • Jun
    2019-06-16 12:11

    This book is easy to read, but hard to digest. Because of Dennett's deceptively easy style, there is absolutely nothing that you cannot understand in this book. However, you must ask yourself whether the question you had when you opened the book, that is, about what can be called a mind and what can't, is answered when you finished the book. For me, it wasn't.And I think this is because Dennett actually did not answer the question. At the opening of the book, he poses two questions before us: 1) what kinds of minds are there (ontological question), and 2) how do we know it (epistemological question). Dennett kind of answered the first question, but not the second question.He starts with the three stances we can employ in predicting what is going to happen, i.e. physical, design, and intentional. To predict what's gonna happen with a falling apple, we employ the physical stance. (Our ancestors did employ the intentional stances, notably in Animism.) To predict what a machine will do, we take the design stance. To tell what an animal will do, we employ the intentional stance.But intentionality simply means one thing is about something else. Intentionality is aboutness. Despite the word employed, it does not include any intention. While mere intentional system is sensitive, true minds are sentient. To define mind from the perspective of functionalism, we must define what the mind does. Mind does process information.Finally, in chapter 4, we are introduced to the four kinds of creatures (minds). Darwinian creatures acts as their genes are designed. A Skinnerian creature follows the tactic of trial and error. A Popperian creature employs inner simulation instead of blind trial and error tactics, thus letting its simulation die in the stead of its actual body. Finally, a Gregorian creature uses mind tools to augment its DB, thus enlarging the capacity of its mind lab. Of course, the best mind tool is language.However, I am confused about Dennett's conclusion on the scope of minds. Determining the scope of minds is important because it bears moral implication. If we treat a creature with a mind as if it is a mindless creature, it is a sin, as Dennett declares. So, does our dogs have minds? I think Dennett's answer is no. If so, it follows that animal tests are morally acceptable. A fish with a hook in his mouth will not feel the pain we imagine.This is a super interesting book with a fantastic reading experience. However, we might end up with our thirst unquenched. At least, my questions were not answered.My final verdict is that you must read this book once or twice. I read it twice, because I could not grasp the whole structure with just one go. I believe I will be reading it for the third time soon enough. And in the meantime, I will be reading another Dennett with relish.

  • Joseph Sverker
    2019-06-12 11:20

    I really enjoy the clarity and well crafted line of argument in this book. I was of the impression that Dennett denied sentient consciousness, but here he presents a rather interesting point that it is not as special as others want to argue that it is. I still think that he is wrong with that, for I think it certainly is a central point for our morality over all. It is however a very tricky business how to interpret other beings' consciousness. The link between sentient consciousness and language is very interesting here. A further interesting thing is that Dennett does not come across as essentialist as I thought he would be. In this I think he is somewhat different from, for example, Richard Dawkins and Steven Pinker. I think I need to read more of Dennett to see more precisely how he would relate to those for example (and they are not philosophers so the comparison might not work). Of course, if I was really diligent I should compare what he says with David Chalmers, Churchland, Searle and others, but I don't really have the energy for that, and I am sure others have done that already in a much more comptent way than what I could. But really, I suppose one should read Chalmers before one make up one's mind about the mind. Good book that provokes thinking.

  • Daisy
    2019-06-20 10:14

    well, i got to page 75 of 175. usually i don't give up until page 100, but i'm particular these days, especially because i'm skittish about philosophy in general. in the beginning i was supremely entertained by dennett's clever musings on sentience (he's a wonderful writer, much like douglas hofstadter), but in the end the semantics (as usual!) broke me down. "is x sentient or is it merely sensitive to certain inputs?" my answer: well, it depends on how you define "sentient" and "sensitive". my "problem" with much of this sort of discussion always is that you can define words however you like -- the fact that any term or topic bears discussion indicates that communication isn't perfectly efficient. we have to elaborate on a topic to get our point across because uttering one, two, or three words just doesn't get the meaning across.perhaps dennett addresses the ADD tics of readers like me later on, but i have too many other books i'm excited about to stick with this and find out. :)

  • William Ramsdell
    2019-06-21 08:20

    Like most Dennett books, it is chalk full of mental fiber and powerfully intuitive thought experiments that effortlessly make his points for him. Dennett get so many points for eschewing abstruse 'philoso-speak' although here, I wanted a bit more structure. The book lacks a central agenda of thesis, and I think that this is the reason why I didn't like it as much as I might have—although I may simply be a grinch and unwilling to accept "there are many kinds of minds" as a satisfactory thesis, where other readers might be happy to do so. Thinking back on the text, I seem to have a hard time pinning down exactly what all those clever remarks and thought experiments were...perhaps I am at fault here, but I suspect that Dennett's conversational tone has gone too far here, wanting structure. He spends so little time with each experiment, it is easy to misplace them.

  • Bettie☯
    2019-06-01 14:19

    Solipsism is the philosophical idea that one's own mind is all that exists. Solipsism is an epistemological or ontological position that knowledge of anything outside one's own specific mind is unjustified. The external world and other minds cannot be known and might not exist.Video from the Cog ProjectSome really interesting stuff in here. Some Cephalopods show more sentience than say, rhesus monkeys, opening up the moral questions again.

  • Mikael Lind
    2019-06-22 08:57

    Daniel Dennett sets out to make us think about minds in a different way after having read his book, and he certainly succeeds in what he set out to do. I found that this book does what a good philosophy book should do; it doesn't try to give any definite answers, but it is challenging most peoples' current conceptions towards the subject. I've seen a lecture with Dennett before, and found it stimulating and interesting despite the fact that I didn't agree with him on all accounts. Kinds of Minds is the first book by Dennett that I've read, and it met my expectations.

  • Joaquin
    2019-06-27 10:54

    This is a very accessible book, which is probably why I didn't enjoy it much. It raises a lot of questions, answers almost none, and deals with it in a very easy to understand language and never gets too technical. I feel that the simplicity in which he expressed his ideas is not a good way to deal with the complexity of the themes underneath.For a first book on consciousness, starting to explore the themes, it's a good book. If you have read some more about it, I wouldn't recommend it. "Godel, Escher, Bach" followed by "I Am A Strange Loop" would be much more enlightening.

  • Feliks
    2019-06-17 08:02

    There's been a boom in "armchair"-style cognitive pop-science books lately but you really have to be familiar with what the long-standing landscape of the topic was; before jumping at every latest fad title. Start with something like this. Anytime any new discovery happens, a spate of books ensues by anyone even remotely involved; the lamers who write science-feature articles for Yahoo are all looking to get their first book out. Remain calm and don't get excited at every little 'startling development'. A book like this helps you gain a sense of perspective.

  • Adom
    2019-05-28 12:57

    Some interesting things here and a fair bit of review. What stuck out to me:- Dennett emphasizes the idea that human intelligence is closely linked to our ability to externalize our thoughts. Not our optimization power as a species, the connection there is obvious, but, I think, the actual structure and function of our brains. I think this is similar to David Deutsch's idea of cognitive artifacts. Anyway, I'll to think/read more on the topic.- Suffering remains mysterious to me, and this reminded me why.