Centenary lecture

Wills Memorial Building, 6.00pm, Admission free

Friday 20 March 2009

Professor Daniel C Dennett, Austin B Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University

What does my body need ME for? The role of consciousness in human intelligence

Listen online (1 hr, 15 mins)

Watch the webcast

Thanks to a partnership with Bristol City Council the lecture was webcast live. You can watch a recording of the lecture at 'Video recording of Dan Dennett lecture'.

Download this lecture (mp3, 105Mb)

Lecture description

The more we learn about the powers of unconscious control systems – in robots and relatively simple animals, and in our own bodies – the more precisely we can pinpoint what ‘conscious thought’ accomplishes. It is not the ‘pinnacle’ or even the ‘centre’ of our agency, but without it, we could not be the agents that we are.

Biography of Professor Daniel C Dennett

Austin B Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, Tufts University

Daniel C. Dennett, the author of Breaking the Spell (Viking, 2006), Freedom Evolves (Viking Penguin, 2003), Darwin's Dangerous Idea (Simon & Schuster, 1995) and over three hundred scholarly articles on various aspects on the mind, is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He received his BA in philosophy from Harvard in 1963 and his PhD from Oxford, where he worked with Gilbert Ryle, in 1965. He has taught at Tufts since 1971.

He is the recipient of two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Studies in Behavioral Science. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1987.