Content and Consciousness  book cover
1st Edition

Content and Consciousness

ISBN 9780415567862
Published March 12, 2010 by Routledge
264 Pages

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Book Description

Content and Consciousness is an original and ground-breaking attempt to elucidate a problem integral to the history of Western philosophical thought: the relationship of the mind and body. In this formative work, Dennett sought to develop a theory of the human mind and consciousness based on new and challenging advances in the field that came to be known as cognitive science. This important and illuminating work is widely-regarded as the book from which all of Dennett’s future ideas developed. It is his first explosive rebuttal of Cartesian dualism and one of the founding texts of philosophy of mind.

Table of Contents

Preface to the Routledge Classics Edition  Preface to the Second Edition  Preface to the First Edition  Part 1: The Language of the Mind  I. The Ontological Problem of the Mind  1. The Mind and Science  2. Existence and Identity  II. Intentionality  3. The Problem of Intentionality  4. Two Blind Alleys  5. The Way Out III. Evolution of the Brain  6. The Intelligent Use of Information  7. The Evolution of Appropriate Structures  8. Goal-directed Behaviour  IV. The Ascription of Content  9. Function and Content  10. Language and Content  11. Personal and Sub-Personal Levels and Explanation: Pain  Part 2: Consciousness  V. Introspective Certainty  12. The Certainty of Certain Utterances  13. A Perceiving Machine  VI. Awareness and Consciousness  14. The Ordinary Words  15. Awareness and Control  16. Consciousness VII. Mental Imagery  17. The Name of Images and the Introspective Trap  18. Colours VIII Thinking and Reasoning  19. People and Processes  20. Reasons and Causes  IX. Actions and Intentions  21. Intentional Actions   22. Willing  23. The Importance of Intentional Actions  X. Language and Understanding  24. Knowing and Understanding  25. Language and Information  26. Conclusions  Index

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Daniel C. Dennett (b. 1942) is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies. The author of numerous books on the human mind and consciousness, he is also a critic of religion and a public defender of Darwin and evolution.


'One rarely encounters a difficult work of technical philosophy that is such a pleasure to read.’ – Thomas Nagel, Journal of Philosophy