Erasmus Prize 2012 Awarded to Daniel C. Dennett

AMSTERDAM, Jan. 25, 2012 /CNW/ - The Praemium Erasmianum Foundation has awarded the Erasmus Prize 2012 to the American philosopher Daniel C. Dennett (1942). The theme of the Erasmus Prize this year is 'the cultural meaning of the natural sciences'. Daniel Dennett is praised for his ability to translate the cultural significance of science and technology to a broad audience.


Daniel Dennett is a strong advocate for the power of thinking. He has taken up the major cultural questions of our time, questions that have defined our self-image, such as: where do we come from and what is consciousness? As a philosopher he has addressed these fundamental questions and has added new and groundbreaking insights to other fields of study. Daniel Dennett has chosen a wide range of themes in his work, from religion and Darwinism to consciousness and artificial intelligence.

Dennett has published numerous articles and books, most noted are Breaking the Spell (2007, a personal search for the meaning of religion); Darwin's Dangerous Idea (1996, on the evolution theory); and Consciousness Explained (1992, consciousness in the light of modern neurosciences).

Apart from being a widely-read author and a great thinker, Dennett is an eloquent teacher who addresses the questions of our time with great audacity. He is optimistic about science and demonstrates in his work the importance of knowledge, critical thinking, and an open attitude to 'other' ideas. He is a source of inspiration to both his colleague-scientists and to a larger audience.

The Erasmus Prize is an annual award for a person who has made an exceptional contribution to culture, society or social science. The prize money is a sum of Euro 150.000.

The award ceremony will take place in the autumn of 2012 on a date to be announced.

Note for the editors: this press release can be found on

SOURCE Praemium Erasmianum Foundation

For further information:

Dr Max Sparreboom, director of the Praemium Erasmianum Foundation, Tel. +31-20-6752753, E-mail

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Praemium Erasmianum Foundation

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