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May 8, 2013

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What methods can we use to answer life's most fundamental questions? In his book Intuition Pumps and Other Tools for Thinking, philosopher Daniel C. Dennett offers a cognitive toolbox filled with novel discussions of familiar moves—Occam’s Razor, reductio ad absurdum— and the “imagination extenders and focus-holders” that he and others have developed for dealing with the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, mind, and free will. He is joined in conversation by fellow philosopher Jim Holt, whose recent work Why Does the World Exist: An Existential Detective Story New York Magazine calls "a ridiculously good book about the world’s most intractable question." 

Daniel C. Dennett is the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy at Tufts University and has authored numerous landmark books, including Breaking the Spell, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, and Consciousness Explained.

Jim Holt is a longtime contributor to The New Yorker—where he has written on string theory, time, infinity, numbers, and truth, and bullshit, among other subjects—and the author of Stop Me If You’ve Heard This: A History and Philosophy of Jokes. He is also a frequent contributor to The New York Times



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