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1.4b. Dennett's Functionalism (Dennett's Functionalism on PhilPapers)

See also:
Akins, Kathleen (1996). Lost the plot? Reconstructing Dennett's multiple drafts theory of consciousness. Mind and Language 11 (1):1-43.   (Cited by 9 | Google | More links)
Akins, Kathleen (1996). Ships in the night: Churchland and Ramachandran on Dennett's theory of consciousness. In Kathleen Akins (ed.), Perception. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Antony, Michael V. (2002). Toward an ontological interpretation of Dennett's theory of consciousness. Philosophia 29 (1-4):343-370.   (Google | More links)
Arbib, Michael A. (1972). Consciousness: The secondary role of language. Journal of Philosophy 64 (5):579-591.   (Cited by 2 | Google | More links)
Barresi, John & Christie, John R. (2002). Using illusory line motion to differentiate misrepresentation (stalinesque) and misremembering (orwellian) accounts of consciousness. Consciousness and Cognition 11 (2):347-365.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: It has been suggested that the difference between misremembering (Orwellian) and misrepresentation (Stalinesque) models of consciousness cannot be differentiated (Dennett, 1991). According to an Orwellian account a briefly presented stimulus is seen and then forgotten; whereas, by a Stalinesque account it is never seen. At the same time, Dennett suggested a method for assessing whether an individual is conscious of something. An experiment was conducted which used the suggested method for assessing consciousness to look at Stalinesque and Orwellian distinctions. A visual illusion, illusory line motion, was presented and participants were requested to make judgments that reflected what they were aware of. The participants were able to make responses indicating that they were aware of the actual stimulus in some conditions, but only of the illusion in others. This finding supports a claim that the difference between the Orwellian and Stalinesque accounts may be empirically observable, and that both types of events may occur depending on task and stimulus parameters
Bloomfield, Paul (1998). Dennett's misrememberings. Philosophia 26 (1-2):207-218.   (Google | More links)
Block, Ned (1995). What is Dennett's theory a theory of? Philosophical Topics 22:23-40.   (Cited by 9 | Google)
Abstract: A convenient locus of discussion is provided by Dennett
Bricke, John (1985). Consciousness and Dennett's intentionalist net. Philosophical Studies 48 (September):249-56.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Bricke, John (1984). Dennett's eliminative arguments. Philosophical Studies 45 (May):413-29.   (Annotation | Google | More links)
Bringsjord, Selmer (online). Explaining phi without Dennett's exotica: Good ol' computation suffices.   (Google | More links)
Brook, Andrew (2000). Judgments and drafts eight years later. In Andrew Brook, Don Ross & David L. Thompson (eds.), Dennett's Philosophy: A Comprehensive Assessment. MIT Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Now that some years have passed, how does this picture of consciousness look? On the one hand, Dennett's work has vastly expanded the range of options for thinking about conscious experiences and conscious subjects. On the other hand, I suspect that the implications of his picture have been oversold (perhaps more by others than by Dennett himself). The rhetoric of _CE_ is radical in places but I do not sure that the actual implications for commonsense views of Seemings and Subjects are nearly as radical
Brook, Andrew (online). The appearance of things.   (Google | More links)
Abstract: These two contributions have had different fates. The attack on _qualia_ and related fantasies has been enormously influential, in part because it follows in a long line of scepticism about the traditional ways of thinking about this topic, a tradition including, among philosophers, the later Wittgenstein, Dennett's teacher Gilbert Ryle, John Austin and Wilfrid Sellars. Psychologists such as Tony Marcel and Bernard Baars and medical neuroscientists such as Marcel Kinsbourne are examples of leading researchers whose work is done in the light of Dennett's critique. Indeed, one can hardly pick up any leading journal of consciousness studies such as the _Journal of Consciousness Studies_ or _Consciousness and_ _Cognition_ without finding Dennett's name mentioned somewhere. The influence has not been easily won and the ground is still contested. Ringing rejections of Dennett's arguments still appear and he answers them in papers with ferocious titles such as 'The Unimagined Preposterousness of Zombies' (1995a). Thought experiments still appear purporting to show that _qualia_ are remarkable, in fact utterly extraordinary phenomena. Such rear-guard actions notwithstanding,. many consciousness researchers are now convinced that deep incoherencies lie buried in the traditional notion of conscious states
Carman, Taylor (2007). Dennett on seeming. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 6 (1-2).   (Google | More links)
Carr, David (1998). Phenomenology and fiction in Dennett. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 6 (3):331-344.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In Consciousness Explained and other works, Daniel Dennett uses the concept of phenomenology (along with his variant, called heterophenomenology) in almost complete disregard of the work of Husserl and his successors in German and French philosophy. Yet it can be argued that many of the most important ideas of Husserl, Merleau-Ponty and others (and not just the idea of intentionality) reappear in Dennett's work in only slightly altered form. In this article I try to show this in two ways, first by talking in a general way about Dennett's phenomenology, and second by examining his treatment of the concept of the self. In both cases I argue that Dennett should have read his Husserl and Merleau-Ponty more carefully, since in the end his (hetero-) phenomenology is methodologically incoherent and suffers from something like a weakness of will. This emerges especially in his use of the notion of fiction
Churchland, Paul M. (2002). Catching Consciousness in a Recurrent Net. In Andrew Brook & Don Ross (eds.), Daniel Dennett: Contemporary Philosophy in Focus. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Churchland, Paul M. (1999). Densmore and Dennett on virtual machines and consciousness. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 59 (3):763-767.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Churchland, Patricia S. & Ramachandran, Vilayanur S. (1993). Filling in: Why Dennett is wrong. In B. Dahlbom (ed.), Dennett and His Critics. Blackwell.   (Cited by 93 | Annotation | Google)
Clark, Stephen R. L. (1993). Minds, memes, and rhetoric. Inquiry 36 (1-2):3-16.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Crooks, Mark (2003). Phenomenology in absentia: Dennett's philosophy of mind. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
Crooks, Mark (2004). The last philosophical behaviorist: Content and consciousness explained away. Journal of Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology 24 (1):50-121.   (Google)
Dahlbom, B. (ed.) (1995). Dennett and His Critics. Cambridge: Blackwell.   (Cited by 33 | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (2001). Are we explaining consciousness yet? Cognition 79 (1):221-37.   (Cited by 72 | Google | More links)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1968). Content and Consciousness. Routledge.   (Cited by 351 | Google | More links)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1991). Consciousness Explained. Penguin.   (Cited by 3274 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: Little, Brown, 1992 Review by Glenn Branch on Jul 5th 1999 Volume: 3, Number: 27
Dennett, Daniel C. (1993). Caveat emptor. Consciousness and Cognition 2 (12-13):48-57.   (Cited by 11 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: What I find particularly valuable in the juxtaposition of these three essays on my book is the triangulation made possible by their different versions of much the same story. I present my view as a product of cognitive science, but all three express worries that it may involve some sort of ominous backsliding towards the evils of behaviorism. I agree with Baars and McGovern when they suggest that philosophy has had some baleful influences on psychology during this century. Logical positivism at its best was full of subtle softenings, but behaviorist psychologists bought the tabloid version, and sold it to their students in large quantities. George Miller's account of those dreary days is not an exaggeration, and the effects still linger in some quarters. (Philosophers are often amused--but they should really be disconcerted--to note that the only living, preaching logical positivists today are to be found in psychology departments.)
Dennett, Daniel C. & Kinsbourne, Marcel (1992). Escape from the cartesian theater. Reply to commentaries on Time and the Observer: The Where and When of Consciousness in the Brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15:183-247.   (Google)
Abstract: Damasio remarks, it "informs virtually all research on mind and brain, explicitly or implicitly." Indeed, serial information processing models generally run this risk (Kinsbourne, 1985). The commentaries provide a wealth of confirming instances of the seductive power of this idea. Our sternest critics Block, Farah, Libet, and Treisman) adopt fairly standard Cartesian positions; more interesting are those commentators who take themselves to be mainly in agreement with us, but who express reservations or offer support with arguments that betray a continuing allegiance to one or another tenet of the view we sought to discredit
Dennett, Daniel C. (1995). Get real. Philosophical Topics 22.   (Cited by 15 | Google | More links)
Abstract: There could be no more gratifying response to a philosopher's work than such a bounty of challenging, high-quality essays. I have learned a great deal from them, and hope that other readers will be as delighted as I have been by the insights gathered here. One thing I have learned is just how much hard work I had left for others to do, by underestimating the degree of explicit formulation of theses and arguments that is actually required to bring these issues into optimal focus. These essays cover my work from top to bottom. Just about every nook and cranny is probed and tested in ways I could never do for myself. The essays thus highlight the areas of weakest exposition of my views; they also show the weak points of the views themselves--and suggest repairs, which I am sometimes happy to accept, but not always, since there are a few cases in which one critic deftly disarms another, sight unseen. I will be fascinated to learn how the individual authors react to each other's essays, since they side with me on different points, and disagree about what is still in need of revision or repair
Dennett, Daniel C. (1995). Is Perception the "Leading Edge" of Memory? In A. Spafadora (ed.), Iride: Luoghi Della Memoria E Dell'oblio.   (Cited by 2 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: Daniel C. Dennett
Is Perception the 'Leading Edge' of Memory?
Consciousness appears to us to consist of a sequence of contentful items, arranged in a sequence, the so-called "stream of consciousness," in which each item in turn bursts quite suddenly into consciousness and thereby enters memory, perhaps only briefly to be remembered, and then forgotten. I think that hidden in this comfortable and largely innocent picture of consciousness is a deep and seductive mistake. I intend to expose and elucidate that mistake, and describe an alternative vision
Dennett, Daniel C. (1993). Living on the edge. Inquiry 36 (1-2):135-59.   (Cited by 6 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: In a survey of issues in philosophy of mind some years ago, I observed that "it is widely granted these days that dualism is not a serious view to contend with, but rather a cliff over which to push one's opponents." (Dennett, 1978, p.252) That was true enough, and I for one certainly didn't deplore the fact, but this rich array of essays tackling my book amply demonstrates that a cliff examined with care is better than a cliff ignored. And, as I have noted in my discussion of the blind spot and other gaps, you really can't perceive an edge unless you represent both sides of it. So one of the virtues of this gathering of essays is that it permits both friend and foe alike to take a good hard look at dualism, as represented by those who are tempted by it, those who can imagine no alternative to it, and those who, like me, still find it to be--in a word--hopeless
Dennett, Daniel C. & Kinsbourne, Marcel (1995). Multiple drafts: An eternal golden braid? Reply to Glicksohn and Salter. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 18 (4):810-11.   (Google)
Abstract: We have learned that the issues we raised are very difficult to think about clearly, and what "works" for one thinker falls flat for another, and leads yet another astray. So it is particularly useful to get these re-expressions of points we have tried to make. Both commentaries help by proposing further details for the Multiple Drafts Model, and asking good questions. They either directly clarify, or force us to clarify, our own account. They also both demonstrate how hard it is for even sympathetic commentators always to avoid the very habits of thought the Multiple Drafts Model was designed to combat. While acknowledging and expanding on their positive contributions, we must sound a few relatively minor alarms
Dennett, Daniel C. (1979). On the absence of phenomenology. In Donald F. Gustafson & Bangs L. Tapscott (eds.), Body, Mind, and Method. Kluwer.   (Cited by 11 | Annotation | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1993). Precis of Consciousness Explained. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (4):889-931.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1978). Reply to Arbib and Gunderson. In Brainstorms. MIT Press.   (Cited by 1 | Annotation | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1994). Self-portrait. In Samuel D. Guttenplan (ed.), Companion to the Philosophy of Mind. Blackwell.   (Cited by 5 | Google)
Abstract: In my opinion, the two main topics in the philosophy of mind are content and consciousness. As the title of my first book, _Content and Consciousness_ (1969) suggested, that is the order in which they must be addressed: first, a theory of content or intentionality--a phenomenon more fundamental than consciousness--and then, building on that foundation, a theory of consciousness. Over the years I have found myself recapitulating this basic structure twice, partly in order to respond to various philosophical objections, but more importantly, because my research on foundational issues in cognitive science led me into different aspects of the problems. The articles in the first half of
Dennett, Daniel C. (2005). Sweet Dreams: Philosophical Obstacles to a Science of Consciousness. MIT Press.   (Cited by 22 | Google | More links)
Abstract: In the final essay, the "intrinsic" nature of "qualia" is compared with the naively imagined "intrinsic value" of a dollar in ...
Dennett, Daniel C. (1996). Seeing is believing--or is it? In Kathleen Akins (ed.), [Book Chapter]. Oxford University Press.   (Cited by 7 | Google | More links)
Abstract: We would all like to have a good theory of perception. Such a theory would account for all the known phenomena and predict novel phenomena, explaining everything in terms of processes occurring in nervous systems in accordance with the principles and laws already established by science: the principles of optics, physics, biochemistry, and the like. Such a theory might come to exist without our ever having to answer the awkward "philosophical" question that arises
Dennett, Daniel C. (1978). Toward a cognitive theory of consciousness. Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 9.   (Cited by 43 | Annotation | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. & Kinsbourne, Marcel (1992). Time and the observer: The where and when of consciousness in the brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 15:183-201.   (Cited by 394 | Annotation | Google | More links)
Abstract: _Behavioral and Brain Sciences_ , 15, 183-247, 1992. Reprinted in _The Philosopher's Annual_ , Grim, Mar and Williams, eds., vol. XV-1992, 1994, pp. 23-68; Noel Sheehy and Tony Chapman, eds., _Cognitive Science_ , Vol. I, Elgar, 1995, pp.210-274
Dennett, Daniel C. (1988). The Evolution of Consciousness. In J. Brockman (ed.), The Reality Club, Vol. III. Prentice-Hall.   (Cited by 7 | Annotation | Google)
Dennett, Daniel C. (1994). Tiptoeing Past the Covered Wagons. In U. Neisser & David A. Jopling (eds.), The Conceptual Self in Context: Culture, Experience, Self-Understanding. Cambridge University Press.   (Cited by 3 | Google | More links)
Abstract: David Carr complains, in "Dennett Explained, or The Wheel Reinvents Dennett," (Report #26), that I have ignored deconstructionism and Phenomenology. This charge is in some regards correct and in others not. Briefly, here is how my own encounters with these fields have looked to me
Densmore, Shannon & Dennett, Daniel C. (1999). The virtues of virtual machines. Philosophy and Phenemenological Research 59 (3):747-61.   (Cited by 1 | Google | More links)
Abstract: Paul Churchland's book (hereafter ER)is an entertaining and instructive advertisement for a "neurocomputational" vision of how the brain (and mind) works. While we agree with its general thrust, and commend its lucid pedagogy on a host of difficult topics, we note that such pedagogy often exploits artificially heightened contrast, and sometimes the result is a misleading caricature instead of a helpful simplification. In particular, Churchland is eager to contrast the explanation of consciousness that can be accomplished by his "aspiring new structural and dynamic cognitive prototype: recurrent PDP networks" (p.266) with what strikes him as the retrograde introduction by Dennett of a virtual von Neumannesque machine--a "failed prototype"--as the key element in an explanation of human consciousness (in
_Consciousness_
_Explained_, 1991, hereafter, CE). We will try to show that by oversimplifying Dennett's alternative, he has taken a potential supplement to his own view--a much needed supplement--and transformed it in his imagination into a subversive threat. In part 1, we will expose and correct the mistaken contrasts. In part 2, we will compare the performance of the two views on Churchland's list of seven features of consciousness any theory must account for, showing that Dennett's account provides more than Churchland has recognized, and indeed offers answers to key questions that Churchland's account is powerless to address. At that point, Churchland's project and Dennett's could be seen to collaborate in a useful division of labor instead of being in mortal combat, were it not for what appears to be a fairly major disagreement about consciousness in non-human animals. Part 3 briefly examines this issue. It may be due to a misunderstanding, which when cleared up might restore the happy prospect of unification
Derksen, Anthony A. (2005). Dennett's rhetorical strategies in Consciousness Explained. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 36 (1):29-48.   (Google | More links)
Dretske, Fred (1995). Differences that make no difference. Philosophical Topics 22:41-57.   (Cited by 10 | Annotation | Google)
Fellows, Roger & O'Hear, Anthony (1993). Consciousness avoided. Inquiry 36 (1 & 2):73 – 91.   (Cited by 1 | Google)
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Abstract: Transpersonal psychology first emerged as an academic discipline in the 1960s and has subsequently broadened into a range of transpersonal studies. Jorge Ferrer (2002) has called for a 'revisioning' of transpersonal theory, dethroning inner experience from its dominant role in defining and validating spiritual reality. In the current paradigm he detects a lingering Cartesianism, which subtly entrenches the very subject-object divide that transpersonalists seek to overcome. This paper outlines the development and current shape of the transpersonal movement, compares Ferrer's epistemology with the heterophenomenology of Daniel Dennett, and speculates on the integration of the latter into transpersonal theory
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Abstract: Many recovering dualists find that the old Cartesian demons are hard to exorcise. Dual substance abuse manifests itself not only as metaphysical dualism, but as a pervasive epistemological framework that creates an unhealthy codependent relationship between scientific realism and phenomenology. Daniel Dennett has led philosophers to recognize many of the symptoms of creeping crypto Cartesianism. In this paper, I try to take Dennett to the limit: Descartes lives on, I argue, in the very heart of cognitive science, in the concept of representation. I outline a five-step program for overcoming this lingering, fundamental, allegiance to Cartesianism, and discuss Dennett's own progress along this path
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Abstract: One of the principal tasks Dennett sets himself in _Consciousness Explained _is to demolish the Cartesian theatre model of phenomenal consciousness, which in its contemporary garb takes the form of _Cartesian materialism_: the idea that conscious experience is a _process of presentation_ realized in the physical materials of the brain. The now standard response to Dennett is that, in focusing on Cartesian materialism, he attacks an impossibly naive account of consciousness held by no one currently working in cognitive science or the philosophy of mind. Our response is quite different. We believe that, once properly formulated, Cartesian materialism is no straw man. Rather, it is an attractive hypothesis about the relationship between the computational architecture of the brain and phenomenal consciousness, and hence one that is worthy of further exploration. Consequently, our primary aim in this paper is to defend Cartesian materialism from Dennett
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Abstract: Any theoretician constructing a serious model of consciousness should carefully assess the details of empirical data generated in the neurosciences and psychology. A failure to account for those details may cast doubt on the adequacy of that model. This paper presents a case in point. Dennett and Kinsbourne's (Dennett, D., & Kinsbourne, M. (1992). Time and the observer: The where and when of consciousness in the brain. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 15, 183-243) assault on the materialist version of the Cartesian Theater model of the mind relies significantly on the superiority of their Multiple Drafts model of consciousness as an explanation of the phenomenon of metacontrast. However, their description of metacontrast is, in important ways, inadequate. The result is that their explanation of how the Multiple Drafts model handles this phenomenon fails to account for the actual data. In this paper I offer a more complete description of metacontrast, show how Dennett and Kinsbourne's explanation fails, and argue that there are good theoretical reasons for choosing the so-called Stalinesque model over the so-called Orwellian model
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