Guess I can leave the two memoirs until some “time off in reward” and having seen Kevin talk about his latest, I probably have his thinking already absorbed in mine, so far as my immediate writing is concerned.
Couldn’t resist flipping through the dust-jacket blurbs and intros of Dan’s. As well as discovering a few biographical nuggets I was unaware of – it was always the content of his thinking I was focussed on anyway – I can rest easy on one thing.
I was baffled, in this interview of him in “Tufts Now” about his memoir, that “From Bacteria to Bach and Back” (B2BnB) wasn’t even mentioned in their list of his most important works. (Obviously “Consciousness [not] Explained” (C[n]E) was, as it always is, despite being over 30 years old.) Fortunately inside the back cover of his memoir, the publisher has B2BnB first in their list of his most important works (as well as a pretty comprehensive sequential bibliography in the front). C[n]E was about what an explanation of consciousness would need to be – the explaining of consciousness, not the explanation of it. B2BnB on the other hand is his best final version of the explanation he’s nailed to the mast.
The must read of his, a consolidation and update of all that went before. “This is a good place to start if you’re new to Dennett.”
I can rest easy.
[Great chat with Robert Kuhn (Closer To Truth) with Dan about his Memoir.]
[Great also to have Kevin’s alongside Dan’s here, Kevin dismissed Dan’s “illusionism” – but in fact says pretty much the same as Dan more recently. Something to work into the writing.]