David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Inquiry 36 (1 & 2):73 – 91 (1993)
In Consciousness Explained, Dennett systematically deconstructs the notion of consciousness, emptying it of its central and essential features. He fails to recognize the self?intimating nature of experience, in effect reducing experiences to reports or judgments that so?and?so is the case. His information?processing model of meaning is unable to account for semantics, the way in which speakers and hearers relate strings of symbols to the world. This ability derives ultimately from our animal nature as experiencers, though culturally supplemented in various ways. But Dennett, while successful in rebutting Cartesianism about the mind, fails to take into account our natural history. He claims descent from Wittgenstein in his philosophy of mind, but he shows awareness only of Wittgensteinian's demolition of the private object of experience and overlooks the equally Wittgensteinian theme of humans as products of nature
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