Other Minds

The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

255 pages

English language

Published Aug. 7, 2016

OCLC Number:

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (9 reviews)

"Peter Godfrey-Smith is a leading philosopher of science. He is also a scuba diver whose underwater videos of warring octopuses have attracted wide notice. In this book, he brings his parallel careers together to tell a bold new story of how nature became aware of itself. Mammals and birds are widely seen as the smartest creatures on earth. But one other branch of the tree of life has also sprouted surprising intelligence: the cephalopods, consisting of the squid, the cuttlefish, and above all the octopus. New research shows that these marvelous creatures display remarkable gifts. What does it mean that intelligence on earth has evolved not once but twice? And that the mind of the octopus is nonetheless so different from our own? Combining science and philosophy with firsthand accounts of his cephalopod encounters, Godfrey-Smith shows how primitive organisms bobbing in the ocean began sending signals to each other and …

4 editions

Review of 'Other Minds' on 'GoodReads'

4 stars

Очень enjoyable, но не очень хорошо сконструировано и структурировано. Россыпь размышлений о природе сознания и разума, не всегда, как можно почерпнуть из соседних ревью, находящихся на одной волне с актуальной наукой.

Главное перед ознакомлением — не иметь завышенных ожиданий (определенно не научное исследование; скорее всего не философский трактат; длинное эссе на свободную тему? возможно) и не ждать ответов на Большие Вопросы. Можно включить композицию Rise of the Cephalopods группы Alkaloid для усиления эффекта, сочетается идеально.

Review of 'Other Minds' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Good insights into what the definition of intelligence can be, and identifying our own chordate biases when approaching the development of artificial intelligence.

At points, he waxes philosophical, but never very deeply. I'd be more interested in examining how our monolithic human brain biases us when we think about our thoughts, our bodies, or intelligence. Explore the idea that our integrated subjective experience called "consciousness" is largely independent of our body's mechanisms for deciding to lift our arms or move toward food, as measured by neuroscientists who (perhaps wrongly) interpret it as neurological proof of our lack of "free will."

Even speculation into octopus qualia -- what does it feel like to be an octopus with semi-autonomous limbs -- or perhaps some thought experiments drawing analogies between human patients with inactivated brain regions vs an octopus with missing limbs.

Interesting, if a bit unfocused. The news that cephalopods use extensive …

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  • Behavior
  • Evolution
  • Psychology
  • Animal intelligence
  • Consciousness
  • Nervous system
  • Cephalopoda