Daniel Dennett - Cute, Sexy, Sweet, Funny

The ancient Greek philosopher Protagoras is famous for having claimed that "man is the measure of all things." Plato took this to mean a radical form of relativism, but it could also be understood in terms of phenomenalism, the view that what appears to a person is real for that person (or a truth about that person). Combine that claim with John Locke's theory of secondary qualities of perception, the view that certain perceptible qualities are actually properties projected by the perceiver and not inherent in the object of perception.

This all raises a fundamental question: why do we have the preferences and aversions that we have? Why are we the measure of all things? Why do we find babies cute, college girls sexy, chocolate cake delicious, and jokes funny?

In this short and amusing presentation, philosopher Daniel Dennett applies evolutionary theory to explain not only the genius of Darwinian thinking as a way to answer these questions, but the radical inversion of reasoning methods we need to incorporate in our theories of mind. That's right, it's not that you like chocolate cake because it's delicious; rather, chocolate cake is delicious because you like it. If that sounds odd, that's precisely because you haven't internalized the inversion of reason required to understand, but guess what? Today is your lucky day...



What I still don't get is how evolution can help us understand why we find girls making out so hot... :)
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