Consciousness – a Conversation

Started a short conversation with Steve Turnbull after I responded positively to a tweeted question from Martin Robinson on whether mind could be explained by “materialism”. (The conversation follows in the embedded twitter thread below:) If by "material" we mean the broadest matter-and-energy-physics understanding of materialist, then in fact all mental stuff is also explainable. … Continue reading “Consciousness – a Conversation”

Dennett – Don’t Mention the Memes

Recent (26 Jan 2018) talk by Dan Dennett recorded in Warsaw and published by Polish Rationalists on the topic of his most recent “From Bacteria to Bach and Back” (B2BnB) book on the evolution of intelligent consciousness. I’ve written and talked much about B2BnB so not a great deal “new” in the presentation – and … Continue reading “Dennett – Don’t Mention the Memes”

Memes and Cultural Evolution

I was lucky enough to have a piece published in The New Humanist, ostensibly as a review of Dan Dennett’s “Bacteria to Bach and Back” (B2BnB), but majoring on the memetics of argumentation. The focus is Dennett’s bet that despite no longer spending his time arguing with his critics on their terms, his style of … Continue reading “Memes and Cultural Evolution”

Ergodic or non-Ergodic, that is the question.

Ergodicity is my new favourite word. Some things are ergodic, some are not, they’re non-ergodic. And rather than a definition (see also post-note below), it deserves a riff … A ubiquitous question is, does the end always justify the means or maybe no end ever justifies any & all means? You might achieve the same … Continue reading “Ergodic or non-Ergodic, that is the question.”

Dennett and the “Little People”

I came across a twitter thread of Free Thought Prophet (FTP, otherwise anon) recommending a blog post by John Hamill (Atheist Ireland National Committee) about Dennett’s position on free-will. FTP I know as a knockabout humorous commentator in the space occupied by the four horsemen. As a rationalist, atheist, humanist myself, “free-thought” is the traditional tag … Continue reading “Dennett and the “Little People””

Sleeping With The Fishes and Other Messages

Reading the Dennett / Haig piece I’d bookmarked from Mind & Language, thanks to Dennett’s tweet captured earlier. I introduce a complacency-shattering paper by David Haig, just turned down by MIND & LANGUAGE – Philsci-Archive https://t.co/XwGKQXIlDN — Daniel Dennett (@danieldennett) July 31, 2017 I see already – only partially read Dennett’s contribution at this point … Continue reading “Sleeping With The Fishes and Other Messages”

Closing Out Recent Dennett Links

Mentioned bookmarking amid the chaos a couple of posts ago and I still have two three Dennett bookmarks unreviewed. Hell yeah! I thought when I saw the Prospect link with this in the title … “The electronic age has triggered epistemological chaos” … and bookmarked the piece for a longer read later. I needn’t have … Continue reading “Closing Out Recent Dennett Links”

A New Species of Mind-Matter Explanation

I am at last reading and considering this TLS piece in which Tim Crane presents the Papineau / Dennett exchanges on Dennett’s “From Bacteria to Bach and Back”.  I’ve had it bookmarked for over a week and so far made only passing references. Tim Crane’s a professional, I’m an amateur, when it comes to the … Continue reading “A New Species of Mind-Matter Explanation”