Review of Freedom Evolves by Daniel Dennett (2003)

Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks 3rd Ed. (2017) (2017)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
``People say again and again that philosophy doesn´t really progress, that we are still occupied with the same philosophical problems as were the Greeks. But the people who say this don´t understand why is has to be so. It is because our language has remained the same and keeps seducing us into asking the same questions. As long as there continues to be a verb´to be´that looks as if it functions in the same way as´to eatánd´to drink´, as long as we still have the adjectives´identical´,´true´,´false´,´possible´, as long as we continue to talk of a river of time, of an expanse of space, etc., etc., people will keep stumbling over the same puzzling difficulties and find themselves staring at something which no explanation seems capable of clearing up. And what´s more, this satisfies a longing for the transcendent, because, insofar as people think they can seèthe limits of human understanding´, they believe of course that they can see beyond these.`` ´ This quote is from Ludwig Wittgenstein who redefined philosophy some 70 years ago (but most people have yet to find this out). Dennett, though he has been a philosopher for some 40 years, is one them. It is also curious that both he and his prime antagonist, John Searle, studied under famous Wittgensteinians (Searle with John Austin, Dennett with Gilbert Ryle) but Searle got the point and Dennett did not. Dennett is a hard determinist (though he trys to sneak reality in the back door), and perhaps this is due to Ryle, whose famous book´The Concept of Mind´(1949) continues to be reprinted. That book did a great job of exorcising the ghost but it left the machine. Dennett enjoys making the mistakes Wittgenstein, Ryle (and many others since) have exposed in detail. Our use of the words consciousness, choice, freedom, intention, particle, thinking, determines, wave, cause, happened, event(and so on endlessly) are rarely a source of confusion but as soon as we leave normal life and enter philosophy(and any discussion detached from the environment in which language evolved) chaos reigns. Like most Dennet lacks a coherent framework-which Searle has called the logical structure of rationality. I have expanded on this considerably since I wrote this review and my recent articles show in detail what is wrong with Dennet's approach to philosophy. Let me end with another quote from Wittgenstein--´Ambition is the death of thought´. Those wishing a comprehensive up to date account of Wittgenstein, Searle and their analysis of behavior from the modern two systems view may consult my article The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language as Revealed in Wittgenstein and Searle (2016). Those interested in all my writings in their most recent versions may download from this site my e-book ‘Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization Michael Starks (2016)- Articles and Reviews 2006-2016’ by Michael Starks First Ed. 662p (2016). All of my papers and books have now been published in revised versions both in ebooks and in printed books. Talking Monkeys: Philosophy, Psychology, Science, Religion and Politics on a Doomed Planet - Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 (2017) The Logical Structure of Philosophy, Psychology, Mind and Language in Ludwig Wittgenstein and John Searle--Articles and Reviews 2006-2016 (2017) Suicidal Utopian Delusions in the 21st century: Philosophy, Human Nature and the Collapse of Civilization - Articles and Reviews 2006-2017 (2017)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Revision history
First archival date: 2016-10-21
Latest version: 2 (2016-12-12)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Added to PP index

Total views
184 ( #23,049 of 50,260 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
17 ( #31,572 of 50,260 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.