Friday, 18 November 2016

Daniel Dennett is Bach

Daniel Dennett is coming out with his book on cultural evolution in 2017. Here's the Amazon page for the book. It says the book is coming out in February. The title is: From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds.

The blurb reads in part:

In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, [Dennett's] most comprehensive exploration of evolutionary thinking yet, he builds on ideas from computer science and biology to show how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. Part philosophical whodunit, part bold scientific conjecture, this landmark work enlarges themes that have sustained Dennett’s legendary career at the forefront of philosophical thought. In his inimitable style―laced with wit and arresting thought experiments―Dennett explains that a crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Language, itself composed of memes, turbocharged this interplay. Competition among memes―a form of natural selection―produced thinking tools so well-designed that they gave us the power to design our own memes. The result, a mind that not only perceives and controls but can create and comprehend, was thus largely shaped by the process of cultural evolution.

Dennett has previously written on cultural evolution, in Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Consciousness Explained and Breaking The Spell. This looks set to be his first book largely devoted to the topic. 496 pages: biblical proportions.

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