Philosopher Daniel Dennett dead at 82

Ars Technica » Scientific Method 2024-04-19

Daniel Dennett seated against black background in blue shirt, bowtie and dark jacket

Enlarge / Daniel Dennett, a leading philosopher with provocative takes on consciousness, free will, and AI, has died at 82. (credit: Alonso Nichols/Tufts University)

World renowned philosopher Daniel Dennett, who championed controversial takes on consciousness and free will among other mind-bending subjects, died today at the age of 82.

(Full disclosure: This loss is personal. Dennett was a friend and colleague of my spouse, Sean Carroll. Sean and I have many fond memories of shared meals and stimulating conversations on an enormous range of topics with Dan over the years. He was a true original and will be greatly missed.)

Stunned reactions to Dennett's unexpected passing began proliferating on social media shortly after the news broke. "Wrenching news. He's been a great friend and incredible inspiration for me throughout my career," the Santa Fe Institute's Melanie Mitchell, author of Artificial Intelligence: A Guide for Thinking Humans, wrote on X. "I will miss him enormously."

Read 18 remaining paragraphs | Comments