Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (Google eBook)

Front Cover
Penguin, Feb 2, 2006 - Science - 464 pages
204 Reviews
For all the thousands of books that have been written about religion, few until this one have attempted to examine it scientifically: to ask why—and how—it has shaped so many lives so strongly. Is religion a product of blind evolutionary instinct or rational choice? Is it truly the best way to live a moral life? Ranging through biology, history, and psychology, Daniel C. Dennett charts religion’s evolution from “wild” folk belief to “domesticated” dogma. Not an antireligious screed but an unblinking look beneath the veil of orthodoxy, Breaking the Spell will be read and debated by believers and skeptics alike.


  

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Very easy to read but doesn't hold back on the details. - Goodreads
Convoluted writing... - Goodreads
A great beginning to research on this field. - Goodreads
He keeps justifying his need for writing the book. - Goodreads
Thank you Daniel Dennett for writing this book. - Goodreads

Review: Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

User Review  - Pascal Durrenberger - Goodreads

Another disappointment for me with this second book from Daniel after consciousness explained. Perhaps it is because he is targeting a wider audience rather. A couple of points got me skeptic about ... Read full review

Review: Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon

User Review  - Peter Swenson - Goodreads

Weak sauce. Dennett claims the universe pulled itself into existence. This is not a scientific view of things. Read full review

Contents

Preface
PART I
CHAPTER ONE
CHAPTER TWO
CHAPTER THREE
PART II
CHAPTER FOUR
CHAPTER FIVE
CHAPTER NINE
CHAPTER TEN
CHAPTER ELEVEN
APPENDIX A
APPENDIX B
APPENDIX C
APPENDIX D
Notes

CHAPTER SIX
CHAPTER SEVEN
CHAPTER EIGHT
PART III

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2006)

Daniel C. Dennett, the author of Freedom Evolves (Viking) and Darwin's Dangerous Idea, is University Professor and Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University. He lives with his wife in North Andover, Massachusetts, and has a daughter, a son, and a grandson. He was born in Boston in 1942, the son of a historian by the same name, and received his B.A. in philosophy from Harvard in 1963. He then went to Oxford to work with Gilbert Ryle, under whose supervision he completed the D.Phil. in philosophy in 1965. He taught at U.C. Irvine from 1965 to 1971, when he moved to Tufts, where he has taught ever since, aside from periods visiting at Harvard, Pittsburgh, Oxford, and the Ecole Normal Superieure in Paris.

His first book, Content and Consciousness, appeared in 1969, followed by Brainstorms (1978), Elbow Room (1984), The Intentional Stance (1987), Consciousness Explained (1991), Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1995), and Kinds of Minds (1996). He co-edited The Mind's I with Douglas Hofstadter in 1981. He is the author of over a hundred scholarly articles on various aspects on the mind, published in journals ranging from Artificial Intelligence and Behavioral and Brain Sciences to Poetics Today and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism. His most recent book is Brainchildren: A Collection of Essays 1984-1996 (MIT Press and Penguin, 1998).

He gave the John Locke Lectures at Oxford in 1983, the Gavin David Young Lectures at Adelaide, Australia, in 1985, and the Tanner Lecture at Michigan in 1986, among many others. He has received 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.

He was the Co-founder (in 1985) and Co-director of the Curricular Software Studio at Tufts, and has helped to design museum exhibits on computers for the Smithsonian Institution, the Museum of Science in Boston, and the Computer Museum in Boston.

He spends most of his summers on his farm in Maine, where he harvests blueberries, hay and timber, and makes Normandy cider wine, when he is not sailing. He is also a sculptor

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