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Dennett and the deep blue sea

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A critical analysis of Daniel Dennett's book Consciousness Explained (1991) is carried out, both substantively, and in terms of the rhetorical structure of the book. It is shown that the thesis implied by the title is not substantiated. This is attributed to a failure of method, which results in the necessity to assume that which it is claimed is being explained. An alternative thesis, that consciousness must be assumed to have an a priori ontological existence is suggested. In addition, some relationships between certain esoteric ideas and the nature of Dennett's argument are discussed.

Keywords: Consciousness; Dennett; a priori consciousness; critique

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Center for Natural and Human Science, Athabasca University, Box 10,000, Athabasca, Alberta, CANADA T9S 1A1.

Publication date: January 1, 2000


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