more from Daniel Dennett

Single Idea 4881

[catalogued under 16. Persons / B. Nature of the Self / 6. Self as Higher Awareness]

Full Idea

An important step towards becoming a person is the step up from a first-order intentional system to a second-order system (which has beliefs and desires about beliefs and desires).

Gist of Idea

Being a person must involve having second-order beliefs and desires (about beliefs and desires)


Daniel Dennett (Kinds of Minds [1996], Ch.5)

Book Reference

Dennett,Daniel: 'Kinds of Minds' [Phoenix 1997], p.159

A Reaction

Call it 'meta-thought'. I agree. Dennett thinks language is crucial to this, but the hallmark of intelligence and full-blown personhood is meta- and meta-meta-thought. Maybe the development of irony is a step up the evolutionary scale. Sarcasm is GOOD.