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Daniel Dennett on ‘Ontology, Science, and the Evolution of the Manifest Image’


‘Ontology, Science, and the Evolution of the Manifest Image’

Ontology asks “What exists?” and is the most fundamental metaphysical question. Professor Dennett divides the “things” that exist into manifest images and scientific images. It is important to be able to connect the two, such as the relation between a solid object and neurons but can be difficult as scientific objects can only be imagined. Professor Dennett goes on to argue that the ontology of a species is determined by practicalities – what that species needs to track – and the concept of umwelt. He then uses the example of philosophers as the experts on ontology as they escape personal beliefs and reverse-engineer manifest images and explains the concept of folk ontology.