Daniel Dennett photo credit (Dennett, 2012)

Timeline created by maikonardell
  • Birth

    Daniel Clement Dennett III was born in March 1942, in Boston, Massachusetts (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2020).
  • Family move

    Dennett's father was a secret agent in The Office of Strategic Services, and his family relocated to Lebanon when he was two and returned to Massachusetts upon his father's death from an aviation accident. He was five years old. (The Dan Schneider Interview 2: Daniel Dennet, 2020).
  • Introduction to Philosophy

    Dennett was a reflective child, and the event that got him interested in philosophy occurred in summer camp when he had a philosophical discussion with a camp counselor. (Isle, 2017)
  • Education

    Graduates from Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, and spends one year at Wesleyan University
    (High Profiles, 2017).
  • Harvard

    Enters Harvard university as a philosophy major. Meets Quine, a philosophy professor, who is one of the most influential people to Dennett and his philosophical idea (High Profiles, 2017).
  • Graduate Harvard

    Earns a bachelor's degree in Philosophy from Harvard University (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2020) .
  • Earns Ph.Dand Returns to the U.S

    Receives a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Hertford College in Oxford (High Profiles, 2007). His doctoral thesis was regarding the nature of consciousness(Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2020). Dannett returns to America and becomes a professor.
  • Content and Consciousness

    His first book, ''Content and Consciousness'', was published. He continues with his publications every four to five years, focusing on mind and consciousness (High Profiles, 2017).
  • Kinds of Minds

    Kinds of Minds takes the mind (brain) as a machine that is divided into several levels to discuss the efficiency of its behavioral adaptation. The elementary-level mind evolves its behavior as a species when an individual actually dies or survives. The next higher level of mind (brain) evolves the behavior as an individual by adjusting its own behavior depending on whether the individual actually behaves and is in a favorable or disliked state for the individual (Dannet, 1996).
  • Kinds of Minds [Cont.1]

    The next higher level of mind has the ability to envision certain actions in mind before actually acting on it, in an attempt to foresee the consequences or outcome. By doing this, the likelihood of favorable results and control for the individual would increase, leading to the behavior evolution of an individual (Dannett, 1996).
  • Kinds of Minds [Cont. 2]

    At the highest level of mind, an individual's virtual behavior in the world's instrument models, such as math and languages, are performed before they act, and as a result, the situation is predicted to be favorable or unfavorable for the individual. This is their way of behavioral evolution. These types can also be applied when designing an artificial mind, aka robots
  • Jean Nicod Prize

    Receives Jean Nicod Prize, which is awarded annually in Paris to one active researcher who plays a leading role in the philosophy of mind or in cognitive science (High Profiles, 2017).
  • Freedom Evolves

    Publishes ''Freedom Evolves ''. In this book, he analyzes how humans have the free will that underlies moral responsibility, and argues that free will is a product of the processes of natural and cultural evolution. (Dannett, 2013).
  • Freedom Evolves [Cont.] (Dennett, 2003)

    According to Dennett, as a result of the evolutionary process, humans became intelligent enough to desire free will. Therefore, people establish various social practices (blame and punishment) over responsibility and make themselves “free”. Additionally, human free will is a product of the process of evolution and thus contributes to the amplification of human well-being. Dennett concludes that a naturalistic understanding of freedom through the development of science improves human life.
  • Video File 1

    Our consciousness gives us the illusion that your knowledge and beliefs are truth and right. We are made of trillion unconscious cells, held together, maintained, and ruled by consciousness. What we can imagine depends on what we know, and memories can inflate what we think we saw. Dan Dennett. (2007). The illusion of consciousness. [TED Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.ted.com/talks/dan_dennett_the_illusion_of_consciousness/transcript?language=en#t-13854
  • Video File 2

    This video is particularly interesting. Are memory and consciousness the only things that maintain continuity of identity? How about ego and innate biological tendencies? What if one consciousness consists of pieces of different personalities held together but we are all not aware of it?
    Daniel Dennett. (Sep 6, 2016). Daniel Dennett - What is the Nature of Personal Identity? [YouTube Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IE6CNETNJvk
  • Erasmus Prize

    Receives Erasmus Prize, which recognizes contributions to European culture, society, and social sciences (High Profiles, 2013).
  • From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds (Dennett, 2017)

    His latest work, ''From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds''. His main points are: how did Primitive Biological Bacteria evolve and gain Bach's creativity. when did the mind begin and how did it evolve and how much can modern science elucidate the mind? This book mobilizes all well known, commonly accepted knowledge, including Darwinism, Turing's computational theory, and memetics, to unravel the "evolution of the mind" that has plagued other scientists and philosophers.
  • Present - Photo credit (Weekly Packet, 2017)

    Present  - Photo credit (Weekly Packet, 2017)
    Dennett is an atheist and secularist, and one of the most influential philosophers and cognitive scientists in the world today. He also studies AI, neuroscience, psychology as well as mind-body issues (Encyclopardia Britannica, 2020). As of 2017, he was the Co-Director of the Tufts University Cognitive Research Center and University Professor. I could not find if he currently practices teaching, however still publishes journals (School of Arts and Sciences, n.d.).
  • Take Aways

    Dennett argues that our consciousness is the physical capabilities of the nervous system acquired in the process of evolution. In other words, he denies the claim that the mind is another kind of physical entity such as the soul. In Darwin's view of the world of evolution, all the abilities of living things evolve from simple to complex. The human mind and consciousness are also the result of the complexities of simple senses and other abilities in the course of such evolution.
  • Take Aways

    Take Aways
    Human consciousness is based on science and neurons; it is unique, but not special nor unnatural. Higher biological abilities such as consciousness can be reduced to simpler neuronal activities and can be explained by substructures. Capturing human behavior with terms such as "consciousness" and free will is very useful in predicting what that future will look like. Lastly, “The secret to happiness is to find something bigger than you and devote your life to it.” (The Weekly Packet, 2017)
  • References 1

    -Dennett, D. [DennetsDouble]. (2012). Daniel Dennett. [Twitter Photo]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/dennetsdouble
    -Dennett, D. (2003). Freedom Evolves Kinds of Minds. [Kindle file]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
    -Dennett, D. (2017). From Bacteria to Bach and Back. [Kindle file]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
    -Dennett, D. (1996). Kinds of Minds. [Kindle file]. Retrieved from Amazon.com
  • References 2

    -Encyclopedia Britannica. (2020). Daniel C. Dennett: American philosopher. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Daniel-C-Dennett
    -The Dan Schneider Interview 2: Daniel Dennet. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.cosmoetica.com/DSI2.htm
    -Isle, L. (2017). At home in Little Deer Isle with free-will philosopher Daniel Dennett. Retrieved from https://weeklypacket.com/news/2017/feb/9/at-home-in-little-deer-isle-with-free-will-philoso/
  • References 3

    High Profiles. (2017). Mounting Disbelief. Retrieved from https://highprofiles.info/interview/daniel-dennett/
    -Philosophy Now. (2008). Daniel Dennett: Autobiography (Part 1). Retrieved from https://philosophynow.org/issues/68/Daniel_Dennett_Autobiography_Part_1-School of Arts and Sciences. (n.d.). Publications. Retrieved from https://ase.tufts.edu/cogstud/dennett/recent.html
  • References

    (The last photo is retrieved from the citation below)
    -Rothman, J. (2017). Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul. Retrieved from https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/27/daniel-dennetts-science-of-the-soul