Daniel Dennett interview in New York Times Magazine

The New York Times Magazine of January 22, 2006 contains an interview with Daniel Dennett on the subject matter of his new book, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. A couple of excerpts suggest it will have some similarities to Pascal Boyer’s Religion Explained:

We have a built-in, very potent hair-trigger tendency to find agency in things that are not agents, like snow falling off the roof.

When a person dies, we can’t just turn that off. We go on thinking about that person as if that person were still alive. Our inability to turn off our people-seer and our people-hearer naturally turns into our hallucinations of ghosts, our sense that they are still with us.

About Jim Lippard
  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18018964956914813590 Einzige

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18018964956914813590 Einzige

    I woke up this morning at about 3 a.m. and in my semi-conscious state I briefly was convinced that my vacuum cleaner was actually a woman sitting there looking at me. I’m sure that if I was a “believer” (in whatever) that I might have interpreted the event as an actual visitation, instead of looking at it little more closely.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02029462910780407687 Andrea Weisberger

    Sounds like you had a hypnopompic or hypnogogic hallucination.

    Maybe next time, if you are lucky, you will have a succubus (or incubus depending upon your orientation) vision.