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hayley reed's picture

So far so good...

I find Dennett’s tone in “Darwin’s Dangerous Idea” surprisingly refreshing. Unlike Mayr, I do not feel that Dennett is trying to force me to believe anything. Rather, Dennett is presenting new options for me to consider. When I read Mayr I felt as if I was reading a textbook with all the “right answers”. But, the tone in this book is strikingly different. Dennett adopts an encouraging & insightful tone that is by no means forceful. Before he begins to break down his analysis of Darwin he says, “This book, then, is for those who agree that the only meaning of life worth caring about is one that can withstand our best efforts to examine it. Others are advised to close the book now and tiptoe away.” Pg. 22 What I like about this quote is that Dennett leaves the reader with the choice to keep reading but, he doesn’t force you to keep reading. Personally, I want to keep reading.

 Another thing that I like about Dennett is that I do not think that he believes he has the key to understanding “the truth” or that there is only one truth. Rather, I think he has the drive and curiosity to explore different stories about evolution in hopes of finding collection of observations that personally resonates with him. In this sense Dennett is completely different then Locke who believed “his ‘common sense’ was truly common sense.” Locke assumed that his personal set of observations were the one and only truth. But, I think that Dennett would argue that Locke’s idea of his common sense and common sense for everyone are not the same. What is one man’s common sense can not be assumed to be common sense for all men. There is definitely a difference between a truth and the Truth (capital T).


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