Daniel C. Dennett, D.Phil., the author of Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon, Freedom Evolves, and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life, is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Codirector of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University.
Daniel lives with his wife in North Andover, Massachusetts, and has a daughter, a son, and a grandson. He was born in Boston in 1942, the son of a historian by the same name, and received his B.A. in philosophy from Harvard in 1963. He then went to Oxford to work with Gilbert Ryle, under whose supervision he completed the D.Phil. in philosophy in 1965. He taught at U.C. Irvine from 1965 to 1971, when he moved to Tufts, where he has taught ever since, aside from periods visiting at Harvard, Pittsburgh, and Oxford.
Daniel is on the Editorial Board of Adaptive Behavior, Artificial Intelligence Review, Artificial Life, Biology and Philosophy, Brain and Mind, Consciousness and Cognition, Evolutionary Psychology, Journal of Consciousness Studies, and PHILO.
His first book, Content and Consciousness, appeared in 1969, followed by Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology (1978), Elbow Room: The Varieties of Free Will Worth Wanting (1984), The Intentional Stance (1987), Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin’s Dangerous Idea (1995), Kinds of Minds: Towards an Understanding of Consciousness (1996), and Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds 1984–1996 (MIT Press and Penguin, 1998). He coedited The Mind’s I: Fantasies and Reflections on Self and Soul with Douglas Hofstadter in 1981. He is the author of over three 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.
Daniel gave the John Locke Lectures at Oxford in 1983, the Gavin David Young Lectures at Adelaide, Australia, in 1985, and the Tanner Lecture at Michigan in 1986, among 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 Cofounder (in 1985) and Codirector 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.
Daniel spends most of his summers on his farm in Maine, where he harvests blueberries, hay and timber, and makes Normandy cider wine, when he is not sailing. He is also a sculptor. Watch his one hour interview on Google by Robert Wright. Watch his Edge interview The Computational Perspective. Read his New York Times interview.