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Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Metazoa: Animal Minds and the Birth of Consciousness (Preprint)

Veit, Walter (2022) Review of Peter Godfrey-Smith’s Metazoa: Animal Minds and the Birth of Consciousness (Preprint). [Preprint]

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Abstract

Few philosophers have pushed more forcefully in favour of a strongly gradualist, phylogenetic, and ecological approach to consciousness than the Australian philosopher of biology and mind, Peter Godfrey-Smith. Nothing emphasizes this more elegantly than his new 2020 book Metazoa, which forms the ambitious sequel to his critically acclaimed and commercial bestseller Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, published in 2016 and subsequently translated into multiple languages. In his earlier book, Godfrey-Smith beautifully described the peculiar lives, behaviour, and intelligence of octopuses (alongside their cephalopod cousins) as forming a natural experiment of ‘alien-like’ minds, able to challenge our mainstream human-centric thinking about consciousness. While one could certainly read his new book without having read its predecessor, Metazoa could be well described as a deep dive into new territory from precisely where Other Minds left off. Whereas the latter focused on octopuses as a possible case of an independent evolution of consciousness within this animal branch of life, Metazoa broadens its focus and ambitions to the entire titular animal kingdom: discussing crustaceans, fish, sponges, corals, insects, and mammals.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Veit, Walterwrwveit@gmail.com0000-0001-7701-8995
Keywords: animal consciousness; philosophy of biology; philosophy of mind; animal sentience
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Comparative Psychology and Ethology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Depositing User: Mr. Walter Veit
Date Deposited: 16 Apr 2022 04:12
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2022 04:12
Item ID: 20450
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Action
Specific Sciences > Biology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Psychology > Comparative Psychology and Ethology
Specific Sciences > Cognitive Science > Consciousness
Date: 2022
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/20450

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