Other Minds The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life

By: Godfrey-Smith, PeterLanguage: English Publication details: London William Collins 2018Description: xii, 255pISBN: 9780008226299 (PB)Subject(s): Biological Evolution | General
Item type: BOOKS List(s) this item appears in: evolution
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Although mammals and birds are widely regarded as the smartest creatures on earth, it has lately become clear that a very distant branch of the tree of life has also sprouted higher intelligence: the cephalopods. The squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus are the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien. What can we learn from the encounter? In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold story of how subjective experience crept into being--how nature became aware of itself. Godfrey-Smith tracks the mind's fitful development from unruly clumps of seaborne cells to the first nervous systems and on to the cephalopds and their independent acquisition of intellectual gifts. Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba-diving adventures, Godfrey-Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the cephalopods' lineage. By tracing the question of inner life back to its roots and comparing human beings with our most remarkable animal relatives, Godfrey-Smith casts crucial new light on the octopus mind--and on our own

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The Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, India

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