Author posts

AI Is Evolving on Its Own. Does That Make It Dangerous?

Philosopher Daniel Dennett believes AI should never become conscious — and no, it's not because of the robopocalypse.

Memes 101: How Cultural Evolution Works

We are what we are because of genes; we are who we are because of memes. Philosopher Daniel Dennett muses on an idea put forward by Richard Dawkins in 1976.

On the Origins of Genius: How Human Consciousness Evolved

The human mind is like a Turing machine, says Daniel Dennett. It's made up of unthinking cogs – but when combined in the right order, their motion gives rise to consciousness.

Daniel Dennett: How Life is Like a Game of Rock-Paper-Scissors

Philosopher Daniel Dennett explains how the optimal strategy for winning a game of rock-paper-scissors isn't necessarily the optimal strategy for leading one's life.

Daniel Dennett Dissects a Bad Thought Experiment

Philosopher Daniel Dennett take us through one of his "favorite bad thought experiments," an investigation of free will based on the sci-fi film "The Boys From Brazil."

Daniel Dennett: How Does the Brain Store Beliefs?

Philosopher Daniel Dennett investigates the theories related to how the brain represents ideas and beliefs while pondering an Inception-like situation in which beliefs are surgically inserted into a patient's brain.

Daniel Dennett: An Introduction to Intuition Pumps

Daniel Dennett explains how intuition pumps (often referred to as "thought experiments") help guide philosophers' curiosity and thinking.

Daniel Dennett on Reductio ad Absurdum, the Philosopher's Crowbar

Philosopher Daniel Dennett discusses reductio ad absurdum, "the workhorse of philosophical argumentation," wherewith thinkers test the validity of an opponent's argument by taking it to its most illogical extreme.

Who's Your Daddy? A Fuzzy Concept

I think that philosophers are deeply resistant to acknowledging that most of the interesting categories they deal with have fuzzy boundaries. 

The Philosopher’s Self-Help Book

The video is part of our series of the most popular videos of Summer 2013.

Philosophers Need to be More Self-Conscious of Methodology

I wanted to draw attention to how philosophers actually go about their business and get them thinking more self-consciously about the tools they use and how they use them.

Why We Can't Think Outside the Belief Box

Here is a thought experiment that shows beliefs don’t parcel themselves out the way sentences do. 

How to Win an Argument with a Sophist

People have hang-ups and blind spots and phobias and just sometimes they have a principled refusal to take something seriously. 

How To Build Persuasion Machines

You can create mental machinery for decision making.