Daniel Dennett is arguably the greatest living philosopher
of our time. He appears in the film The Lottery of Birth.
Daniel Dennett says that he was first introduced to the notion of philosophy while attending summer camp at age 11, when a camp counselor said to him, “You know what you are, Daniel? You’re a philosopher.” Much later, Dennett attended Phillips Exeter Academy and spent one year at Wesleyan University before receiving his Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Harvard University in 1963. In 1965, he received his Doctor of Philosophy in philosophy from the University of Oxford, where he studied under Gilbert Ryle.
Dennett describes himself as “an autodidact—or, more properly, the beneficiary of hundreds of hours of informal tutorials on all the fields that interest me, from some of the world’s leading scientists.”
He is the recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, and a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. In February 2010, he was named to the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Honorary Board of distinguished achievers. In 2012, he was awarded the Erasmus Prize, an annual award for a person who has made an exceptional contribution to European culture, society or social science.