A tantalizing source of alternating inspiration and frustration was Hilary Putnam, whose ‘Minds and Machines’ (1960) I had found positively earthshaking. I set to work feverishly to build on it in my own work, only to receive an advance copy of Putnam’s second paper on the topic, ‘Robots: Machines or Artificially Created Life?’ from my mole back at Harvard (it was not published until 1967). This scooped my own efforts and then some. No sooner had I recovered and started building my own edifice on Putnam paper number two than I was spirited a copy of Putnam paper number three, ‘The Mental Life of Some Machines’ (eventually published in 1967) and found myself left behind yet again. So it went. I think I understood Putnam’s papers almost as well as he did – which was not quite well enough to see farther than he could what step to take next.
Je me demande si son livre Breaking the spell va être/a été traduit en français. D’une certaine manière, c’est son livre le plus français…. Mais en même temps, c’est l’équivalent de ce qu’un philosophe français aurait pu écrire il y a cent ans: Dieu n’existe pas, la religion est une illusion etc, etc.
Rien à voir, mais l’autobiographie de Ted Kennedy sort aujourd’hui et j’ai hâte de la lire! Apparemment, il avait voulu être totalement sincère et a attendu la toute fin pour s’y mettre. Le titre anglais est True Compass parce que :
« There’s nothing surer than a North Star, » Kennedy says wistfully on the video, his hands slightly trembling. « It doesn’t vary, it doesn’t change. It’s constant. The idea of a compass. And following the directions of the compass, and staying true to its direction makes sense to me. What I’ve tried to do in the U.S. Senate is to be true to the things which have been important in my life. »
PS: Rien à voir, c’est vite dit: Dieu pourrait être le lien entre l’athée Dennett et le croyant Teddy:
For the first time, he talks deeply about his Roman Catholic faith, and how his guiding light has been Chapter 25 of the Gospel of Matthew, generally interpreted as ensuring salvation to those who help « the least » among us.