Dennett speaks in Belfast

Consciousness: Illusion or Mystery?

Aug 09, 2018
Daniel C. Dennett

Belfast — Old Professor’s Bookshop in Belfast, Camden Philosophical Society and Midcoast Exploration of Consciousness will co-host Daniel C. Dennett’s talk on Consciousness: Illusion or Mystery Saturday, Aug. 18, at 3 p.m. in the Abbott Room of Belfast Free Library, 106 High St.

One of the most celebrated philosophers of our time, Dennett, professor of philosophy and co-director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, is a prolific writer, thinker and speaker. A giant in the field of cognitive science and philosophy, he is known to many as one of the Four Horsemen of Atheism, the others being Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and the late Christopher Hitchens. Dennett is the author of more than a dozen books including the 1991 bestseller “Consciousness Explained,” which argues that the human brain is a type of computer. His latest book, “From Bacteria To Bach And Back: The Evolution Of Minds,” poses the questions, "How come there are minds? And how is it possible for minds to ask and answer that question?”

In “Consciousness Explained,” Dennett wrote that human consciousness “is just about the last surviving mystery.” Last year in a radio interview, he said that while consciousness is the highlight of the human mind, it is as “magical and mysterious” as many think.

“We can explain it all in terms of what's going on in brains and the things out in the world that those brains are responding to," he said.

In the Belfast talk, Dennett will explain why he thinks consciousness is more of an illusion than a mystery.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or

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