From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds by Daniel C. DennettHow did we come to have minds? For centuries, poets, philosophers, psychologists, and physicists have wondered how the human mind developed its unrivaled abilities. Disciples of Darwin have explained how natural selection produced plants, but what about the human mind?
In From Bacteria to Bach and Back, Daniel C. Dennett builds on recent discoveries from biology and computer science to show, step by step, how a comprehending mind could in fact have arisen from a mindless process of natural selection. A crucial shift occurred when humans developed the ability to share memes, or ways of doing things not based in genetic instinct. Competition among memes produced thinking tools powerful enough that our minds don’t just perceive and react, they create and comprehend.
An agenda-setting book for a new generation of philosophers and scientists, From Bacteria to Bach and Back will delight and entertain all those curious about how the mind works.
Book review: From Bacteria to Bach and Back
Daniel Dennett's latest book continues his quest to establish an evolutionary understanding of the mind. This article is a preview from the Autumn edition of New Humanist. Meticulously scientific and scientist-friendly, Daniel Dennett is first and foremost a philosopher, and this is the latest foray in his year quest to establish an evolutionary understanding of the mind. Much of the book is therefore a re-statement of his entire thesis, updated with lessons learned and stripped of extraneous argument and digression. The argument covers the evolution of life, from pre-biological physics and chemistry to the evolution of complex and intelligent life, including all that makes for human intelligence. That is, in other words, our consciousness: our thinking tools and our shared knowledge and behaviour.
But, as he confesses, he is an Author who Adores Alliteration. And Capitals. And Neologisms. Indeed, a German magazine once digitally edited together pictures of us sparring as bare-knuckle boxers. Despite this, and although he may well not thank me for it, there is much here that I agree with.
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From Bacteria to Bach and Back: The Evolution of Minds is a book about the origin of human consciousness by philosopher Daniel Dennett , in which the author makes a case for a materialist theory of mind,  arguing that consciousness is no more mysterious than gravity. Physician Harriet Hall reviewing the book for Skeptical Inquirer magazine, said that "Dennett is always worth reading, and this latest book distills his current thinking and all he has learned over the years". - Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.