If our brains are computers, who designs the software?

7.00pm to 8.30pm, Tuesday 21 February

The Theatre

This event has already taken place

  • Daniel Dennett speaking at the Ri

    Credit: Royal Institution

Price

Standard £14

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Concession £10

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Members and Patrons £7

Event description

There is widespread agreement among researchers in cognitive science that a human brain is some kind of computer, but not much like the laptop. If we look at perceptual experience, and education in particular, as a process of redesigning our cerebral computers, how does the software get designed, and what are the limits of this design process? Join Daniel C Dennett to find out.

About the speaker

Daniel C Dennett is a cognitive scientist and philosopher with a particular interest in consciousness, free will and the evolution of minds. His newest book, From bacteria to Bach and back, explores how thinking minds could have evolved due to natural selection.

About the chair

AC Grayling MA, DPhil (Oxon) FRSL, FRSA is Master of the New College of the Humanities, and a Supernumerary Fellow of St Anne's College, Oxford. Until 2011 he was Professor of Philosophy at Birkbeck College, University of London. He has written and edited over thirty books on philosophy and other subjects; among his most recent are "The Good Book", "Ideas That Matter", "Liberty in the Age of Terror" and "To Set Prometheus Free". For several years he wrote the "Last Word" column for the Guardian newspaper and a column for the Times. He is a frequent contributor to the Literary Review, Observer, Independent on Sunday, Times Literary Supplement, Index on Censorship and New Statesman, and is an equally frequent broadcaster on BBC Radios 4, 3 and the World Service. He writes the "Thinking Read" column for the Barnes and Noble Review in New York, is the Editor of Online Review London, and a Contributing Editor of Prospect magazine.

Filming

This event will be filmed and on the Ri Channel within a few months. Subscribe for free to hear when new videos are released.

Book signing

After the talk, there will be an opportunity to buy books and have them signed by the author.

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