Issue 7
Monday, 03 September 2018
Charles Darwin University
2018 Charles Darwin Scholar, Professor Daniel Dennett to visit NT
2018 Charles Darwin Scholar, Professor Daniel Dennett to visit NT

Oration to extend Charles Darwin’s vision

An internationally acclaimed philosopher, who specialises in the evolution of the human mind, will visit the Territory as part of his role as CDU’s 2018 Charles Darwin Scholar.

Daniel Dennett, who is Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Center for Cognitive Studies in the School of Art and Sciences at Tufts University in the United States, will deliver the biennial public Charles Darwin Oration during his visit.

Professor Dennett’s research focuses on the philosophy of the mind, science, and biology – particularly how these fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science – and the evolution of the human mind and what distinguishes it from other animals’ minds in terms of consciousness.

Professor Dennett is well known for his views and input to the long-running international debate among evolutionary biologists around socio-biology and evolutionary psychology.

The Charles Darwin Scholar program is a biennial initiative established in 2013 to enhance the University’s links to the work and legacy of its namesake, the naturalist, geologist and biologist Charles Darwin.

CDU’s Charles Darwin Scholars are eminent and accomplished researchers whose work relates to either Charles Darwin the man, or the legacy of his work on evolution.

Professor Dennett’s oration is titled, “From Bacteria to Bach: Charles Darwin’s Vision Extended”.

The oration will explore the concept that Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection was, according to one critic, a “strange inversion of reasoning,” and how this is playing out in contemporary realms such as technology and the understanding of our own minds.

Professor Dennett’s views provide a perspective and analysis on how human minds have evolved that will be of great interest to both science and humanities staff and students at CDU, as well as to the wider public.

The Oration is open to the public and will be held at 5.30pm Thursday, 13 September, at Casuarina campus, and 5.30pm Thursday, 20 September, at Alice Springs campus.

RSVP is essential via E: or T: 08 8946 6554.