Cognition All The Way Down

I thought this was a surprising perspective on how we might think about teleology throughout biology in a different and more comprehensive way. Thought you all would be interested in the potential implications of this approach on theology.


Thanks for posting and starting this discussion! I haven’t read the piece yet but Dennett is one of my favorite thinkers and I’m eager to read and discuss.

This is a really cool piece but it’s mostly a nice lay summary of one of Dennett’s great ideas: competence without comprehension. It’s an easy read and it’s relevant to a conversation elsewhere on the forum about “guidance,” minds, and “intelligence.” I don’t know whether Dennett would call this panpsychism but it’s at least closely related.

I don’t know what this has to do with theology, but I agree with @mherzel that it has a lot to do with teleology.


@r_speir the article state what you were saying, in a more understandable way I think :wink: But I only made it halfway through tonight.

I broadly like the idea of looking for something like intelligence throughout the biosphere. But I think the approach is too anthropomorphic.

It shouldn’t be “cognition all the way down”. Instead, it should be “pragmatism all the way up”.

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I’m not the right guy to make a theological argument, but I’d think this issue would have ramification for the way Christians think about the “image of God.”