Daniel Dennett Quotes

On this page you can find the TOP of Daniel Dennett's best quotes! We hope you will find some sayings from Philosopher Daniel Dennett's in our collection, which will inspire you to new achievements! There are currently 138 quotes on this page collected since March 28, 1942! Share our collection of quotes with your friends on social media so that they can find something to inspire them!
  • Churches have given us great treasures such as music and architecture. Whether that pays for the harm they have done is another matter.

  • If the best the roboticists can hope for is the creation of some crude, cheesy, second-rate, artificial consciousness, they still win.

    Daniel Clement Dennett (1998). “Brainchildren: Essays on Designing Minds”, p.158, MIT Press
  • Life itself is just a thin coat of paint on the planet, and we hold the paintbrush.

    "Tech gurus drum up ideas for a better world / Annual Technology Entertainment Design conference pushes leading thinkers, doers to solve big challenges" by Tom Abate, www.sfgate.com. February 26, 2006.
  • I don't think the 9/11 attacks taught us anything we didn't already know about religion. It has long been obvious - even to the deeply religious - that religious fanaticism is an extremely dangerous deranger of otherwise sane and goodhearted people.

  • True, you don't have to be religious to be crazy, but it helps. Indeed, if you are religious, you don't have to be crazy in the medically certifiable sense in order to do massively crazy things.

    "Is religion a threat to rationality and science?" by Daniel Dennett and Robert Winston, www.theguardian.com. April 22, 2008.
  • If I were to give a prize for the single best idea anybody ever had, I'd give it to Darwin for the idea of natural selection - ahead of Newton, ahead of Einstein - because his idea unites the two most disparate features of our universe: the world of purposeless, meaningless matter and motion, particles jostling on the one side, and the world of meaning and purpose, design on the other.

    "Big Thinkers on Evolution". NOVA-PBS, www.pbs.org. October 6, 2009.
  • Postmodernism, the school of 'thought' that proclaimed 'There are no truths, only interpretations' has largely played itself out in absurdity, but it has left behind a generation of academics in the humanities disabled by their distrust of the very idea of truth and their disrespect for evidence, settling for 'conversations' in which nobody is wrong and nothing can be confirmed, only asserted with whatever style you can muster.

    "Liberals and the New McCarthyism" by Derrick Jensen, www.counterpunch.org. August 10, 2015.
  • There is a time for politeness and there is a time when you are obliged to be rude.

  • Whereas religions may serve a benign purpose by letting many people feel comfortable with the level of morality they themselves can attain, no religion holds its member to the high standards of moral responsibility that the secular world of science and medicine does!

    "Thank Goodness!" by Daniel C. Dennett, www.edge.org. November 2, 2006.
  • Minds are in limited supply, and each mind has a limited capacity for memes, and hence there is considerable competition among memes for entry in as many minds as possible.

    Daniel C. Dennett (2014). “Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Life”, p.349, Simon and Schuster
  • The mind is the effect, not the cause.

    "Daniel Dennett: 'I don't like theory of mind". Interview with Carole Jahme, www.theguardian.com. March 22, 2013.
  • In all mammalian species that have so far been carefully studied, the rate at which their members engage in the killing of conspecifics is several thousand times greater than the highest homicide rate in any American city.

    "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life". Book by Daniel Dennett, 1995.
  • AI makes philosophy honest

  • If I know better than you know what I am up to, it is only because I spend more time with myself than you do.

    Daniel C. Dennett (2004). “Freedom Evolves”, p.218, Penguin
  • To put it bluntly but fairly, anyone today who doubts that the variety of life on this planet was produced by a process of evolution is simply ignorant — inexcusably ignorant, in a world where three out of four people have learned to read and write.

    Daniel C. Dennett (1996). “Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life”, p.56, Penguin UK
  • You can't get through seminary and come out believing in God!

  • I look around the world and see so many wonderful things that I love and enjoy and benefit from, whether it's art or music or clothing or food and all the rest. And I'd like to add a little to that goodness.

    Atheist   Art   Atheism  
  • Try to acquire the weird practice of savoring your mistakes, delighting in uncovering the strange quirks that led you astray. Then, when you have sucked out all the goodness to be gained from having made them, you can cheerfully forget them and go on to the next big opportunity.

  • I should emphasize this, to keep well-meaning but misguided multiculturalists at bay: the theoretical entities in which these tribal people frankly believe — the gods and other spirits — don't exist. These people are mistaken, and you know it as well as I do. It is possible for highly intelligent people to have a very useful but mistaken theory, and we don't have to pretend otherwise in order to show respect for these people and their ways.

    Daniel C. Dennett (2006). “Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon”, p.401, Penguin
  • I think that what one can see from a Darwinian account is how the addition of culture in our species turns us into a very special sort of animal, an animal that can be a moral agent in a way that no other animal can be.

    "Big Thinkers on Evolution". NOVA Interview, www.pbs.org. October 6, 2009.
  • Let me lay my cards on the table. If I were to give an award for the single best idea anyone ever had, I'd give it to Darwin, ahead of even Newton or Einstein and everyone else. In a single stroke, the idea of evolution by natural selection unifies the realm of life, meaning, and purpose with the realm of space and time, cause and effect, mechanism and physical law. It is not just a wonderful idea. It is a dangerous idea.

    "Darwin's Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meanings of Life". Book by Daniel Dennett, 1995.
  • People are afraid of being more ignorant than their children―especially, apparantly, their daughters.

  • I don't myself need that role for God. My view is that creation itself, the universe itself, is the most wonderful thing deserving awe and respect. And that satisfies me as my substitute for God.

    "Big Thinkers on Evolution". "NOVA", www.pbs.org. October 6, 2009.
  • YES we have a soul but it's made of lots of tiny robots

    Daniel C. Dennett (2004). “Freedom Evolves”, p.13, Penguin
  • ...but I also can't prove that mushrooms could not be intergalactic spaceships spying on us.

  • What you can imagine depends on what you know. Philosophers who know only philosophy consign themselves to a janitorial role in the great enterprises of exploration that are illuminating the mysteries of our lives.

  • We have had plenty of atheist presidents; they just wouldn't admit it.

  • Cost is always an object - the second law of thermodynamics sees to that

  • In short, we need to recover the courage we celebrate in our heroes, and in particular, the courage to tolerate, for the sake of a free society, a level of risk we hardly ever imagined in the past.

  • My faith in the expertise of physicists like Richard Feynman, for instance, permits me to endorse—and, if it comes to it, bet heavily on the truth of—a proposition that I don't understand. So far, my faith is not unlike religious faith, but I am not in the slightest bit motivated to go to my death rather than recant the formulas of physics. Watch: E doesn't equal mc2, it doesn't, it doesn't! I was lying, so there!

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  • We hope you have found the saying you were looking for in our collection! At the moment, we have collected 138 quotes from the Philosopher Daniel Dennett, starting from March 28, 1942! We periodically replenish our collection so that visitors of our website can always find inspirational quotes by authors from all over the world! Come back to us again!