How close are we to the understanding of consciousness

Forwarded to the only result
  • Browse by topic
    Search our book database by subject, country, epoch, year of publication or key word.
  • Book show of the week
    Haven't you had time to read the newspaper or drop by us in the last few days? Doesn't matter, because here you can view our review notes from the last six days of publication sorted by newspaper or topic.
  • Literature supplements
    All of our notes on the book reviews in the literature supplements from FAZ, FR, NZZ, SZ, taz and Zeit.

Daniel C. Dennett

Varieties of mind

How do we know the world? A new understanding of consciousness
C. Bertelsmann Verlag, Munich 1999
ISBN 9783570120071
, 218 pages, EUR 20.40


Spirit and consciousness - do they determine the iron dividing line between humans and all the other beings who animate planet earth? Or does a dog also have a spirit? Thinking about thinking is one of the most exciting adventures in current research, according to the philosopher Daniel C. Dennett. Taking into account new insights and concepts from philosophy, neurobiology and the research field of artificial intelligence, Dennett follows the creation of the mind through evolution. About four to five billion years ago, according to his thesis, there was a world without a spirit. Then macromolecules developed, which at some point acquired and perfected the property of duplicating themselves.

Review note on Frankfurter Rundschau, March 26, 2002

"Amazing." For author Daniel C. Dennett, people are something very special, writes reviewer Frank Ufen. Tools make him "intelligent", he says of the author. Dennett cannot explain how human consciousness came about, according to Ufen, but he can work out its special features "with the utmost precision". The reviewer finds what comes out of it simply "astonishing" and - great praise - "surprisingly easy to understand".

Review note on Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, February 23, 2000

Wolfgang Kersting gives a reference to the book in his review using learned vocabulary. Dennett, who tries to redefine consciousness in his book, seems to have sought advice from philosophers in particular. So Kersting attests to his theory of evolution "Hegelianism" and a "thoroughly anti-Cartesian morality". At the same time, however, the author reminds our reviewer of the animal filmmaker Grzimek and - even worse - the volume reads "like a community college version of Kant's Critique of Teleological Judgment". All in all, however, Kersting seems to be satisfied with the book. Maybe he just finds it a little too easy to understand?
Read the review at