[Paleopsych] 4th Annual William D. Hamilton Memorial Lecture: Daniel C. Dennett on Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

David Smith dsmith06 at maine.rr.com
Thu Feb 10 23:34:36 UTC 2005

New England Institute for Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology
4th Annual William D. Hamilton Memorial Lecture

Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
Daniel C. Dennett
April 29, 2005 at 7:00 PM 

CHP Room, Parker Pavilion
Westbrook College Campus
University of New England,
716 Stevens Avenue, Portland, Maine.

What kind of explanation can the natural sciences provide for the variety of religious practices and beliefs? One possibility, of course, is that it is simply the truth, and that all human groups discover this in the same way that they discover that food and water are necessary for survival, but there are other possible explanations that may shed light on the powerful influence of religion in all contemporary societies. 

Daniel C. Dennett is the author of Freedom Evolves (Viking Penguin, 2003) and Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Simon &Schuster, 1995), is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. His first book, Content and Consciousness, appeared in 1969, followed by Brainstorms (1978), Elbow Room (1984), The Intentional Stance (1987), Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995), Kinds of Minds (1996), and Brainchildren: A Collection of Essays 1984-1996 (MIT Press and Penguin, 1998). He co-edited The Mind's I with Douglas Hofstadter in 1981. He is the author of over two hundred scholarly articles on various aspects on 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. He gave the John Locke Lectures at Oxford in 1983, the Gavin David Young Lectures at Adelaide, Australia, in 1985, the Tanner Lecture at Michigan in 1986, and the Jean Nicod lectures at Paris in 2001among many others. He has received two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987. He was the Co-founder (in 1985) and Co-director of the Curricular Software Studio at Tufts, and has helped to design museum exhibits on computers for the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Science in Boston, and the Computer Museum in Boston.

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