Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Beauty Deals Gifts for Her Find the Best Purina Pro Plan for Your Pet Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals AutoRip in CDs & Vinyl Outdoor Deals on DOTD
Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $3.90 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.
Kinds Of Minds: Toward An... has been added to your Cart
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Solid used copy with visible wear.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness (Science Masters Series) Paperback – June 12, 1997

24 customer reviews

See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$6.50 $0.01

Best Books of the Month
See the Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.
$12.05 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness (Science Masters Series)
  • +
  • Consciousness Explained
  • +
  • Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking
Total price: $34.79
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews Review

In Consciousness Explained, Daniel Dennett embarks on the audacious task of explaining human consciousness. He sets his sights even higher for Kinds of Minds, attempting to provide a more general explanation of consciousness. But don't be put off: the book is short, easy to read, and makes a good introduction to Dennett's richly interdisciplinary oeuvre. While beginners will appreciate Dennett's appeals to intuitive moral considerations to emphasize the importance of investigating consciousness, there is much in the book to hold the attention of readers already familiar with his previous work.

At the beginning of Kinds of Minds Dennett asks, "What kinds of minds are there? And how do we know?" These two questions--the first ontological, the second epistemological--set the agenda for the book. Intuitions untutored by theory are not capable of answering these questions, Dennett argues, making it necessary to pursue insight from the evolutionary point of view. Accordingly, subsequent chapters are devoted to phylogenetic speculations about agency and intentionality, sensitivity and sentience, and perception and behavior. Particularly charming is the series of squiggly amoebas--the Darwinian, Skinnerian, Popperian, and Gregorian creatures--that illustrates the hierarchy of cognitive power. In the final chapter, Dennett returns to the original two questions, ending not with their answers, but, he hopes, with "better versions of the questions themselves." --Glenn Branch

From Publishers Weekly

Dennett (Darwin's Dangerous Idea), director of the Center for Cognitive Studies at Tufts University, avers that language is the "slingshot" that has "launched [humans] far beyond all other earthly species in the power to look ahead and reflect." In this brief study, some of which is drawn from notes for the author's various lectures, and which returns him to some of the themes of his controversial bestseller, Consciousness Explained (1991), he explores how the human mind came into existence. Along the way, he investigates such questions as, How does the mind work? Can we know another's mind? Can a woman know what it's like to be a man (and vice versa)? What are nonhuman minds like? Could a robot ever be "conscious"? Philosopher that he is, Dennett continually raises and refines his questions about these and other subjects, attempting to tease us closer to understanding. By the end of the book, he confesses, he has not so much presented answers as found better questions to ask. Though some readers may be put off by Dennett's cocksure tone, others will be rewarded by his witty, intelligible speculation.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at

Product Details

  • Series: Science Masters Series
  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (June 12, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465073514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465073511
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.4 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #876,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Dave Kinnear on September 27, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I got started on Dennett's many books when a friend recommended Consciousness Explained and I haven't been able to put the topic down ever since. Dennett continues his clear, straightforward style in this book which is much more readable than Consciousness Explained, but still provides ample challenge for the reader.
Dennett starts with the statement, "I am a philosopher, not a scientist," yet his command of what is going on in the sciences is most impressive. His ability to make incredibly complex ideas of evolution understandable to the lay person is amazing and consistent. Through the use of words and diagrams, we are brought up to date on the latest thinking on what mind is and how it is evolving.
Kinds of Minds tackles very emotional and controversial topics such as "are we so sure that all humans have minds? . . . Could it be that all animals and even plants and even bacteria have minds?. . . What kinds of minds are there?" The reader is then lead through a series of logical steps, replete with information on the latest scientific and philosophical thought, and left to finally decide these big questions on his or her own.
This is definitely a must read book for those interested in the human mind, consciousness, and ethical treatment of our fellow beings in this interconnected web of all existence.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Stephen A. Haines HALL OF FAME on June 17, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you aren't familiar with the works of Daniel Dennett, this is the starting point of choice. This American philosopher's ability to pose thought-provoking questions is unmatched. In this collection, the focus is on "what is a mind?" How do we define "the mind" and are humans the sole possessors of it? Dennett is not only deft at posing these posers, he presents the questions and his explanations with philosophy's finest prose and wit. His other advantage over his fellow cognitive scientists is his use of Darwin's "dangerous idea," evolution by natural selection. As products of that process, humans are not exempt from its rules. That framework raises the issue of whether other creatures can be said to have "minds." Dennett explores this issue with skillfully chosen examples. These are part of the list of "kinds of minds."
Dennett is famous among philosophers for devising the concept of "the intentional stance." The intentional stance is interpreting the behaviour of an entity." The range of entities is extensive - a simple thermostat has predictable behaviour - when the room is cool, the device closes a circuit turning on the heat. According to Dennett, the simplest creatures exhibited similar "robotic" behaviour, but as life evolved, more complex patterns developed. Dennett argues that "adopting the intentional stance is not just a good idea but the key to unraveling the mysteries of the mind - all kinds of minds." In his view, intentional systems have progressed along the course of evolution in ever complex steps. Humans, with the development of language, have achieved the highest level of cognitive abilities.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 19, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Dennett's input into the 'sentient machines' debate continues to be compelling. This book focuses on animals, and on understanding the kind of consciousness that may exist in different classes of creature. Dennett travels the animal kingdom, drawing pertinent examples to help refute poor hypotheses.
In the tradition of the best philosophy, it leaves one with better questions, rather than better answers. The book is very approachable, and free of complexity.
Highly recommended
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By James Gerofsky on October 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you've read anything written within the past 20 years on 'philosophy of mind' or the mystery of human consciousness, you've no doubt come across the name Daniel Dennett. Dr. Dennett is a noted expert in the field of mind and consciousness. Dennett is not just another armchair philosopher, as he frequently collaborates with psychologists and neuroscientists in the design and evaluation of empirical studies. He has published a great number of articles and books, many of which are readable by the interested layperson. Unfortunately, most of these works are quite voluminous. "Kinds of Minds" is a relatively short summary of Dennett's paradigms and ultimate contentions regarding the conscious brain. It's great for those like myself who want to experience Dennett but don't have the time to digest a few thousand pages of dense, technical prose.

You should approach Dennett in two different ways; in philosopher talk, Dennett requies an epistemological dualism. On the one hand, Dennett provides a wide range of extremely useful interpretation of neurological and psychological data; he masterfully interweaves the human mind with the brain, body and social environments that support it. Dennett is a brilliant scholar, and even in a short book like this he manages to provide amazing insights on what our minds are doing and why they are doing it. At some point, however, Dennett crosses a hazy boundary between analysis and personal interpretation, and you need to invoke the second approach, a cautious stance toward his strong but not universally accepted opinions.

This second aspect of Dennett is actually what he is best known for outside of professional circles. At the start of this review, I spoke of the "mystery" of human consciousness.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness (Science Masters Series)
This item: Kinds Of Minds: Toward An Understanding Of Consciousness (Science Masters Series)
Price: $12.05
Ships from and sold by