Darwin's Strange Inversion of Reasoning
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Feb. 17: Darwin's Strange Inversion of Reasoning Daniel Dennett is the Austin B. Fletcher professor of philosophy at Tufts University. Before Charles Darwin wrote "Origin of the Species," people assumed that living organisms were built according to a pre-existing plan. When Darwin showed that species change because they inherit traits that ensure their better chances at survival, critics lashed out at Darwin for his "strange inversion of reasoning." Dennett argues that evolution can explain some of the content-producing features of consciousness, that researchers can observe and understand Darwin's reasoning in terms of "trillions of tiny robotic agencies called cells, that know nothing of the role they are playing, yet work together to compose the human minds that are able to discover this very fact."
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