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About Professor Daniel Dennett

Professor Daniel Dennett is a University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He has held visiting positions at Harvard University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Oxford, the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, and the London School of Economics. He was awarded the Erasmus Prize 2012 by The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation who praised him for his ability to translate the cultural significance of science and technology to a broad audience.

  • A.P.A. Barwise Prize, December 2004
  • Humanist of the Year, American Humanist Association, 2004
  • Bertrand Russell Society Award, Plymouth State University, NH, June 18-20, 2004
  • Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award, 2006
  • Richard Dawkins Prize, Atheist Alliance International, 2007
  • Distinguished Fellow Award, Cognitive Science Society, 2009
  • AAAS Fellow –selected as 2009 Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Erasmus Prize (November 2012)

Professor Daniel Dennett's Research

Professor Dennett’s books include Breaking the Spell (2006), Freedom Evolves (2003), and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995), and he is author of over three hundred scholarly articles on various aspects of the mind, published in journals ranging from Artificial Intelligence and Behavioral and Brain Sciences to Poetics Today and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism.

Research Papers

“Homunculi rule: Reflections on Darwinian populations and natural selection by Peter Godfrey Smith, Oxford University Press, 2009, Biology and Philosophy, Vol. 26, No. 4, July 2011, pp. 475-88.

“Sakes and dints,” Commentary in Times Literary Supplement, March 2, 2012, pp. 12-14. Interviewed by John Shook in Free Inquiry, April/May 2012, pp. 7-9.

“The Mystery of David Chalmers,” Journal of Consciousness Studies, Vol. 19, No. 1-2 (2012), pp. 86-95.

‘A Perfect and Beautiful Machine’: What Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Reveals About Artificial Intelligence,” The Atlantic, June 22nd, 2012.


Content and Consciousness, (Routledge, 1969)

Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology, (Bradford Books, 1978)

with Douglas Hofstadter (ed.), The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul (Basic Books, 1981)

Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting, (MIT Press, Oxford University Press, 1984)

The Intentional Stance, (MIT Press/A Bradford Book, 1987)

Consciousness Explained, (Penguin, 1992)

Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, (Simon & Schuster, 1995)

Kinds of Minds (Basic Books, 1996)

Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds, (MIT Press and Penguin, 1998)

Freedom Evolves, (Allen Lane 2003)

Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness, MIT Press, 2005

Breaking the Spell, Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, (Viking Press, 2006)

with Alvin Plantinga; James P. Sterba, (eds.)Science and Religion: Are They Compatible?, (Oxford University Press, 2011)

with Matthew Hurley, Reginald B. Adams, Jr, Inside Jokes: Using Humor to Reverse-Engineer the Mind, (MIT Press, 2011)

Professor Daniel Dennett's Teaching

New College of the Humanities lectures
  • Consciousness and its role in free will I (Hilary 2014)
  • Consciousness and its role in free will II (Hilary 2014)
  • Consciousness and its role in free will III (Hilary 2014)
  • How to make sure you have free will (Hilary 2014)
  • The Installation of Cultural Software (Hilary 2013)
  • The Virtual Machines of Consciousness (Hilary 2013)
  • How Active Symbols Create Intelligence Designers (Hilary 2013)
  • with Professor Nicholas Humphrey: Turning two views of consciousness into one: is it possible? (Hilary 2013)