Long Profile of Daniel Dennett

The New Yorker has published a lengthy article about Daniel Dennett (Tufts), by Joshua Rathman. “Daniel Dennett’s Science of the Soul” delves into the Dennett’s biography and describes some of the philosophical disputes in which his views have been central.

Did you know that Dennett makes his own Calvados and aquavit? That he knows how to install electrical wiring and plumbing? And that he sings Christmas carols without irony? There are more to philosophers than their philosophy.

The article was interesting throughout. Here’s a small taste:

A few years ago, a Russian venture capitalist named Dmitry Volkov organized a showdown between Dennett and Chalmers near Disko Island, off the west coast of Greenland. Before making a fortune investing in Shazam and in the Russian version of PayPal, Volkov was a graduate student in philosophy at Moscow State University, where he wrote a dissertation on Dennett’s work. Now he chartered a hundred-and-sixty-eight-foot schooner, the S/V Rembrandt van Rijn, and invited Dennett, Chalmers, and eighteen other philosophers on a weeklong cruise, along with ten graduate students. Most of the professional philosophers were materialists, like Dennett, but the graduate students were uncommitted. Dennett and Chalmers would compete for their allegiance…

The whole article is here.


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