Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Philosophy of Daniel Dennett$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Bryce Huebner

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780199367511

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199367511.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 March 2021

Dennett on Breaking the Spell

Dennett on Breaking the Spell

(p.331) 11.1 Dennett on Breaking the Spell
The Philosophy of Daniel Dennett

Lynne Rudder Baker

Oxford University Press

Dennett’s has recently attempted to break the “spell” that prevents people from submitting their religious beliefs and practices to scientific investigation. But what spell is being broken? Religion is not a unified phenomenon. By supposing that it is, Dennett is led to adopt an implausible mimetic theory of religious belief, and to mistakenly assume that the presence of a Hyperactive Agency Detection Device would impugn religious belief. More troublingly, although religious beliefs and practices should be studied scientifically, it would be a mistake to treat science as the exclusive arbiter of reality. Dennett makes human beings (persons) seem like aggregates of parts. Such a view seems to have no room for human dignity, except as artifacts of an intentional stance. A plausible theory of human dignity would take people to be ontologically significant unities, who, on my view, have first-person perspectives essentially.

Keywords:   evolution of religion, intentional stance, dignity, first-person perspective, Daniel Dennett

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .