4 comments on “Dennett’s Speculative Bet in “From Bacteria to Bach and Back”

  1. Pingback: Dennett – Does He or Doesn’t He? | Psybertron Asks

  2. It’s interesting that Dan recognises that it is difficult to win an argument when somebody else has set the agenda and phrased the question. Not sure if it is fair that the agenda is set by Dan on all occasions though. I prefer a dispassionate third party agenda-setting approach. Intelligence Squared seems to do a decent job of that. Wish I could get Dan along to do a talk for us….

  3. Not on all occasions, sure, but on this one topic for the purposes of one argument, can’t be too much to ask? (Although his hope, and mine, is that after having one or two arguments on this basis, others would start to see it’s a good basis, the right basis, for ANY …. er … knowledge dialogue? (Part of the problem is built into the word “argument”.)

    And, neutral dispassionate third-party? Can’t agree here. This is the REAL problem.

    The generally accepted basis of rational “argument” is totally engrained in our culture, (it is itself a meme / memeplex), that it is very unlikely a neutral would see the issue. A neutral “facilitator” could work, provided for the purposes of “this” debate they took “instruction” from Dan on “the rules of this argument”, and then refereed it neutrally. What is there to lose? You need to “buy” Dan’s argument, even if only on a sale-or-return basis 😉

    As to getting him to speak to “us” – it would need to be in collaboration with a larger group. (I’m working on a couple of pieces for publication elsewhere, as part of trying to engage him in his own discussion already. He does respond in friendly, helpful, if brief, ways to correspondence I’ve found. Shaking him by the hand in London, may have helped put a face to an email name for him?)

  4. Pingback: Explain That To Me Again! | Psybertron Asks

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