Sunday, February 08, 2004
So I finally finished Dennett's "Freedom Evolves". I appreciated his commitment to maintaining a certain rigorousness, as well as his naturalistic approach to problems of the mind and will. He certainly caused me to question my assumptions about the relationship between determinism and inevitability, as well as the need for indeterminism to be built into the decision-making process. He also touches on some fascinating evolutionary theories of morality and altruism, incorporating Dawkin's controversial concept of the meme (a cultural hereditary unit analogous to a gene, check out this collection of definitions or read The Meme Machine for an in-depth discussion). Despite many pockets of brilliance, I couldn't help but feel like the book became disjointed by the end, and the summary was fairly anticlimactic. I need to ponder over a few key points, and perhaps re-read a few sections. I still believe that this book is a wonderful read, and I recommend it. You can check it out on Amazon here.