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 bothered, it’s a pretty shallow interview, not quite sinking to the level of “Dan, tell us, what’s your favourite colour?” The other question that drew most click-bait quotes was the one about the (two) most overrated book(s) of all time – the Bible and Quran being the implicit, expected answers – harking back to his time as “the least apocalyptic of the four horsemen“. Dennett is too concerned with proper rationality to have been side-tracked by the negative campaigning of New Atheism, something which is itself part of the trigger for current day levels of epistemological chaos I’d say. Too right.

The final Dennett link for now is Chris Oldfield tweeting a link to Dennett’s 1991 “Real Patterns” essay in the JoP. Hofstadter is included in the credits for the discussion that went into the paper, without any specific reference. As I noted in my last Dennett piece, Dennett and Hofstadter have been on this tack for some time, that patterns of information are more real than anything we’d think of as physical and independent of any physical embodiment.

Ah, and I still have this one bookmarked!

“Making Sense – Information Interpreted as Meaning”
David Haig, Harvard Evolutionary Biology

Still to read 30-odd pages with a dozen pages of intro by Dennett, but I note one of Dennett’s own references is “Get Real” 1994. Of course the reality of information and “Turing’s strange inversion of reasoning” figure highly in his latest “From Bacteria to Bach and Back” (B2BnB). A tangled web.

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