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Monday, December 31, 2007

Harris' bias favors the interior while Dennett's bias favors the exterior

The American Conservative: Daniel Dennett Does Transcendental Meditation
from ~C4Chaos Nice. Looks like Harris and Dennett have something in common when it comes to fondness of meditation. However, the similarity ends there.
Harris subscribes to the idea of consciousness expansion via meditation (e.g. his practice of Dzogchen) while Dennett uses meditation for his blood pressure and clarity of thought. Those two have different ideas when it comes to *consciousness*. Harris subscribes to a Buddhist philosophical view of nondual consciousness (although he wants to strip it off with its Buddhistness). Dennett subscribes to a Neural Darwinian view.
In his classic book, Consciousness Explained, he argued that consciousness arises from interaction and cognitive processes in the brain and that there is no such thing as a "hard problem of consciousness." Dennett strips consciousness of subjectivity and reduces everything to external biological process. Harris' bias favors the interior while Dennett's bias favors the exterior. Among the New Atheists, their views on religion and science are complementary. Taken together, their perspectives are more integral.
Going back to The American Conservative, I was surprised that I enjoyed reading it, even if I don't identify as a conservative. In the coming days, I'll blog some of the insightful articles I've read. In the meantime, check out the free articles from its archive... by ~C4Chaos

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