, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 343-358

A Tradition Ignored: Review Essay of John Symons' On Dennett

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Abstract

Although Symons' recent book, On Dennett(Wadsworth, 2002), provides scientists with ahelpful, general introduction to Dennett'sthought, it presents a skewed version of thehistory of the philosophy of mind. Inparticular, the continental tradition is almostentirely ignored, if not glibly dismissed. As aresult, the unwary reader of this book wouldnever realize that Dilthey, Sartre and Husserl,like Dennett, offer a ``middle ground'' betweennaturalistic realism and naturalisticeliminativism. However, unlike Dennett, therespective positions of Dilthey, Sartre andHusserl are not ontologically indifferent, butinstead, present a non-naturalistic form ofrealism that does not simultaneously invokeCartesian dualism.