Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness Peter Godfrey-Smith

Other Minds is a 2016 bestseller by Peter Godfrey-Smith on the evolution and nature of consciousness. It compares the situation in cephalopods, especially the octopus and the cuttlefish, with that in mammals and birds. Complex active bodies that enable and perhaps require a measure of intelligence have evolved three times, in arthropods, cephalopods, and vertebrates. The book reflects on the nature of cephalopod intelligence in particular, constrained by their short lifespan, and embodied in large part in their partly autonomous arms which contain more nerve cells than their brains. The book has been admired by reviewers, the New York Times for example calling it “never dogmatic, yet startlingly incisive”.

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