December 5, 2013
“If you can approach the world’s complexities, both its glories and its horrors, with an attitude of humble curiosity, acknowledging that however deeply you have seen, you have only just scratched the surface, you will find worlds within worlds, beauties you could not heretofore imagine, and your own mundane preoccupations will shrink to proper size, not all that important in the greater scheme of things.”
Daniel C. Dennett, (1942- ) from Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon
Boston born, Dennett spent his early years in Lebanon, where his father, an operative of the OSS, was killed in the Second World War. Later educated at Phillips Exeter, Harvard and Oxford, Dennett nevertheless refers to himself as an autodidact. Now a professor at Tufts University and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies, he is principally known as a philosopher, humanist, and atheist, having written extensively on free will and a naturalist view of human evolution. The author of more than a dozen books, including Consciousness Explained (1992) Dennett was both a Fulbright and Guggenheim Fellow and received the Erasmus Prize in 2012. An avid sailor, he lives in North Andover, Massachusetts.