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Other Minds Audiobook

Other Minds: The Octopus and The Evolution of Intelligent Life

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Publisher's Summary

A philosopher dons a wet suit and journeys into the depths of consciousness.

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 audiobook 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 marvellous 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 how these early forms of communication gave rise to the advanced nervous systems that permit cephalopods to change colours and human beings to speak.

By tracing the problem of consciousness back to its roots and comparing the human brain to its most alien and perhaps most remarkable animal relative, Godfrey-Smith's Other Minds sheds new light on one of our most abiding mysteries.

©2017 Peter Godfrey-Smith (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (7 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 17/06/2017 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Literary science at its pinnacle"

    Fantastic performance reading a stunning book.
    Godfrey-Smith shows his passion for the philosophy, psychology, and biology of the Cephalopods whilst communicating cutting edge science.

    It is great to see communication of this content done in such an academic, yet accessible way. Very enjoyable.

    Highly recommended

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Libby Lin 05/06/2017
    Libby Lin 05/06/2017 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Light and Entrancing "

    Who knew that do much was happening in the mind of a cuttlefish or octopus? Fascinating from beginning to end. Books don't often change my perspective of the world in a tangible way - this is a rare exception. Other Minds is a loving fusion of evolution, biology and philosophy. I found Godfrey-Smith's story telling so compelling that I probably won't eat octopus again. If ever you wonder why the ocean is deserving of our moral consideration, read this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Al
    27/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Cephalopod Love Story"

    Some quite interesting info in parts of the text. Generally too speculative and wishy washy to receive a higher score. A philosopher's work of science rather than a scientist's work of science. Comes across as someone playing at being Edward O. Wilson out of an emphatuation with octopi but lacking the expertise to pull it off.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • ben
    13/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating"

    Utterly fascinating and very accessible. The closest you can get to understanding an alien intelligence.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    12/07/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "outstanding"

    A really great recording of a fascinating book. I learned so much and have a new appreciation for all things cephalopod.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    South Wales
    29/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Accessible and fairly profound. Octupulent!"

    Will make me look at calamari very differently. Facts and analysis of what might seem a marginal or obscure topic leading to some fairly deep thoughts about life and existence.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Celia
    Johannesburg, South Africa
    13/08/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating mix of science and philosophy"

    This book was a fascinating mix of science, philosophy and anecdotes. Although it tackled some challenging concepts, it was not dry or boring, and the discussion evolved at a layman's pace. The author's stories of his own experiences with octopuses and cuttlefish, as well as his discussion of other people's research stories, was interspersed between the discussion of evolution of a neural system, and philosophy of "what is a mind". Interesting concepts well narrated.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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