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Home » Books » Science » Biology » Evolution

Darwin's Dangerous Idea

Evolution and the Meanings of Life

By Daniel C. Dennett

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Format: Paperback, 592 pages
Published In: United Kingdom, 26 September 1996
In Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life Daniel C. Dennett argues that the theory of evolution can demystify the miracles of life without devaluing our most cherished beliefs. From the moment it first appeared, Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection has been controversial: misrepresented, abused, denied and fiercely debated. In this powerful defence of Darwin, Daniel C. Dennett explores every aspect of evolutionary thinking to show why it is so fundamental to our existence, and why it affirms - not threatens - our convictions about the meaning of life. 'Essential and pleasurable for any thinking person' Stephen Pinker 'A surpassingly brilliant book. Where creative, it lifts the reader to new intellectual heights. Where critical, it is devastating' Richard Dawkins 'A brilliant piece of persuasion, excitingly argued and compulsively readable' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'Superb ... This is the best single-author overview of all the implications of evolution by natural selection available ... deserves a place on the bookshelves of every thinking person' John Gribbin, Sunday Times 'Dennett's book brings together science and philosophy with wit, complex clarity and an infectious sense that these ideas matter, to us and the way we live now' A.S. Byatt, Sunday Times Books of the Year Daniel C. Dennett is one of the most original and provocative thinkers in the world. A brilliant polemicist and philosopher, he is famous for challenging unexamined orthodoxies, and an outspoken supporter of the Brights movement. His books include Brainstorms, Brainchildren, Elbow Room, Breaking the Spell, Darwin's Dangerous Idea, Consciousness Explained and Freedom Evolves.

Table of Contents

Part I Starting in the middle: tell me why; an idea is born; universal acid; the tree of life; the possible and the actual; threads of actuality in design space. Part II Darwinian thinking in biology: priming Darwin's pump; biology is engineering; searching for quality; bully for brontosaurus; controversies contained. Part III Mind, meaning, mathematics, and morality: cranes of culture; losing our minds to Darwin; the evolution of meanings; the emperor's new mind, and other fables; on the origin of morality; redesigning morality; the future of an idea.

About the Author

Daniel Dennett is the author of Brainstorms, Brainchildren, Elbow Room, Consciousness Explained and Darwin's Dangerous Idea. He is currently the Distinguished Arts and Sciences Professor and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He lives in North Andover, Massachusetts.

EAN: 9780140167344
ISBN: 014016734X
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 2.5 centimetres (0.40 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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