Peter Godfrey-Smith ( epub ) Other Minds The Octopus The Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness – Book, DOC or Kindle free

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Dent route mammals and birds later began their own evolutionary journeys But what kind of intelligence do cephalopods possess Drawing on the latest scientific research and his own scuba diving adventures Godfrey Smith probes the many mysteries that surround the lineage How did the octopus a solitary creature with little social life become so smart What is it like to have eight tentacles that are so packed with neurons that they virtually “think for themselves” What happens when some octopuses abandon their hermit like ways and congregate as they do in a uniue location off the coast of AustraliaBy tracing the uestion 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. Gosh I wasn t crazy about this Godfrey Smith is an Australian Sydney native teaching at City University in New York He began studying octopus in 2008 by following them around in scuba gear He is a philosopher not a scientist I did not grasp that when we began There were some very un scientific notions presented that struck me as weird Cephalopods and baboons are both partial cases unfinished in a sense though one should not think of evolution as goal directedI should think not There was some other strange stuff about a gentleman who became aphasic occasionally but still had to express himself which he did by pointing Godfrey Smith thought the man s aphasia proved the man no longer had the capacity for languagedespite the man being mentally aware and was pointing to things Just seems a notion the author is floating that doesn t really bear scrutinyLook the man had some terrific times observing suid giant cuttlefish and octopus and has some terrific stories and even some photos to tell about them the way they morph shape texture and color and look interested to be around humans We learn that the cephalopods live about two years which does seem exceptionally short though Godfrey Smith goes off on another philosophical tangent about why such a big brained animal would live so short a time when the dopes of the animal kingdom live comparatively foreverNot the right uestions for me

review í E-book, or Kindle E-pub Ï Peter Godfrey-Smith

Other Minds The Octopus The Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

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 consisting of the suid the cuttlefish and above all the octopus In captivity octopuses have been known to identify individual human keepers raid neighboring tanks for food turn off lightbulbs by spouting jets of water plug drains and make daring escapes How is it that a creature with such gifts evolved through an evolutionary lineage so radically distant from our own What does it mean that evolution built minds not once but at least twice The octopus is the closest we will come to meeting an intelligent alien What can we learn from the encounter In Other Minds Peter Godfrey Smith a di. I wanted to like this book I really did but unfortunately it just didn t do much for meFirst of all my background and the book s I studied bio with an emphasis on evolution This book is about the evolution of octopus brains a system only distantly linked to our own An octopus is really the closest thing we have to a truly alien intelligence whereas mammals and birds have similar systems in play We were a match made in heaven I was thrilled for this book and even tried to get a friend to read it with meUnfortunately that s where the love affair ended The book started interestingly enough with a discussion of life in the Ediacaran Pre Cambrian period This the author asserts is when life started being able to sense and we got the first bits of nervous systems Super interesting though of course largely speculation when looking at these fossils most suishy things are gone There s also uestions as to why the nervous system developed in the first place The author is a little slow in describing the commonly known bits of evolution ie vertebrates but I also recognize that And then vertebrates developed as you might expect would be enough for meThis is where the books starts to lose structure The author just begins discussing anecdotes of octopus behavior but seems to just ramble without a clear goal in mind First he discusses many experiments with octopus and many surprising anceotes from those experiments but he largely seems to gloss over what those experiments meant or what they told us about octopus behavior or thoughts The author recounts similar tales of wild octopus again mainly just to demonstrate that they have higher intelligenceThere s an interesting bit when the author discusses whether octopus have the same centralized brain as we do or if it s of a sum of its armsparts However the author never really goes anywhere with this He briefly discusses a maze experiment than proves that this exists then discusses a few stories that indicates this exists and then nothing For a straight biology book this may have been acceptable but this is biology and philosophy What does this mean How does that make life different for an octopus Well there s not any answer to thatAbout then the book grinds to a screeching halt as the author ponders consciousness and it s painful While there are some truly interesting experiments mentioned a lot of it just gets into the navel gazing of uestioning what consciousness is This section is nearly unreadable at timesI keep coming back to that metaphor of consciousness as white noise when I m trying to get my head around this topic It is a metaphor very much so It s a metaphot of sound applied to organisms that at least in most cases probably could not hear at all I m not sure why the image stays so consistently with me Somehow it seems to point in the right direction with its evocation of a crackle of the metabolic electricity and the shape of the story suggested That shape is one in which experience starts in an inchoate buzz and becomes organizedThat paragraph does nearly nothing to advance the book Others are virtually incomprehensibleIn our own case looking inside we find that subjective experience has a close association with perception and control with using what we sense to work out what we do Why should this be Why shouldn t subjective experience be associated with other things Why isn t it brimful of basic bodily rhythms the division of cells life itself Some people say it is full of those things than we realize anyway I don t think so and suspect there s a clue here Subjective experience does not arise from the mere running of the system but from the modulation of its state from registering things that matter These need not be external events they might arise internally But they are tracked because they matter and reuire a response Sentience has some point to it It s not just a bathing in living activityYeah that paragraph needs some serious editing A lot of these philosophical bits are nearly unreadable Perhaps I just lack the background but I can t be the only one This is from the same author who really went over the fact that vertebrate evolution happened in near boring level of clarity just a few chapters earlierThere is a super fascinating section on cuttlefish and suid and how they are able to change colors Then the shocking revelation that these animals are likely colorblind The author does a wonderful job here though admittedly our understanding is woefully incomplete The author does a great job here and diagrams are genuinely helpfulThen there s another section this time about the use of language in consciousness and thinking Why was this not with the other section on the human mind Also why are we discussing this The octopus and cuttlefish completely lack language why is it in this bookThis is shortly followed on speculation on aging and the octopus s short life span This is adeuate although I found the author s explanations lacking Again the author went through the evolutionary tree in detail a couple times now iirc but really can t explain the major theory of aging in any adeuate fashionShortly following this chapter on aging there s a chapter on how the octopolis a group or city of octopus formed and then suddenly the book is over on page 204 of 255 When reading I was expecting another chapter to really wrap everything up nicely and give me the overarching picture Nothing Instead the rest of the book is full of notes on what the author was talking about earlier in the book Was there any indication of these endnotes Nope None whatsoever Some are clarifications others are just sources I read none of them because why would I read a note on something back on page 57 after I finished the bookAll in all it s not what I wanted Perhaps it should have been titled Unusual octopus behavior and essays on philosophy and that would have been closer to the truth Only about a third of the books is about octopus and that s really a problem considering how much it s marketed on that I think the author missed an opportunity to really delve into octopus and mollusk evolution but instead only talked about bilaterally symmetrical evolution and when mollusks and vertebrates split How do you have an organism with blue green blood jet propulsion three hearts and a digestive system that passes through its brain and you fail to discuss the evolution of any of it in favor of discussing the role of language in thought Yeah it just doesn t make any sense There may have been a slight discussion of the limbs and nerves but definitely falling short I was also looking for in the way of how octopus responded differently than mammals or birds but there wasn t much of that eitherThe book I got just didn t gel with the book I was promised I don t know whether it was over marketed or the author wanted to say but lacked data Either way the end product was a bit of a mess Sorry but this was not the book for this bio major It really didn t cover much about octopus intelligence or evolution in any way I was hoping it wouldWith the possible exception of the cuttlefishI could never be mad at you

Peter Godfrey-Smith Ï 9 Summary

Stinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver tells a bold new story of how subjective experience crept into being how nature became aware of itself As Godfrey Smith stresses it is a story that largely occurs in the ocean where animals first appeared Tracking the mind’s fitful development Godfrey Smith shows how unruly clumps of seaborne cells began living together and became capable of sensing acting and signaling As these primitive organisms became entangled with others they grew complicated The first nervous systems evolved probably in ancient relatives of jellyfish; later on the cephalopods which began as inconspicuous mollusks abandoned their shells and rose above the ocean floor searching for prey and acuiring the greater intelligence needed to do so Taking an indepen. When you dive into the sea you are diving into the origin of us all Peter Godfrey Smith Other Minds Mischief and craft are plainly seen to be characteristics of this creature Claudius Aelianus 3rd Century AD writing about the octopusIt is always fascinating reading a biology book that seems to resemble a physics book or an economics book that borrows heavily from psychology Cross pollination and flexibility to sueeze into other academic boxes always pleases me So when I discovered a book that looks at the philosophy of cognition by examining the brains and evolution of cephalopods primarily octopuses and cuttlefish I was excited One reason is my love for octopuses while almost accidental goes back nearly ten years For most of the time I ve had an Audible account my avatar has been an octopus Friends buy me Cthulhu masks and plush dolls I m still not sure what one does long term with a Cthulhu doll How long can you appropriately cuddle with an Elder God doll before it becomes creepy Anyway Godfrey Smith uses the development of the cephalopod brain as a way to highlight our own brain s development and also as a way to explore different ways cognition may appear in other life forms The uniue neural patternsstructure in octopuses makes the way they see the world significantly different than the way we see the world despite our separately evolved but similar eyes As Godfrey Smith also points out an octopus is probably the closest we will come to examining another mind If we want to understand other minds the minds of cephalopods are the most other of all p10 As YouTube shows part of the appeal of octopuses is how they for an animal so different from us it is closer to a slug than us biologically seems to flirt with behaviors that are both close to us playful clever petty and also completely foreign They seem to exits in a weird uncanny valley that attracts and repels us How can we not be fascinated by something that seems to have almost dropped her from another planet but acts a bit like a feline Octopuses and their brains reminds me of the famous Montaigne uote about his cat When I Am Playing With My Cat How Do I Know She Is Not Playing With MeIndeed When we are watching octopuses on YouTube they seem to be eually fascinated with us It is strange and lovely and opens up a lot of uestions about what it means to be alive to think to have a subjective experience Peter Godfrey Smith moves well along this path and asks most of the big uestions I would want asked Many answers however seem largely unanswerable But like a philosopher is want he still asksNext up in cephalopod reading Vampyroteuthis Infernalis A Treatise with a Report by the Institut Scientifiue de Recherche Paranaturaliste


10 thoughts on “Other Minds The Octopus The Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

  1. says:

    I wanted to like this book I really did but unfortunately it just didn't do much for meFirst of all my background and the book's I studied bio with an emphasis on evolution This book is about the evolution of octopus brains a system only distantly linked to our own An octopus is really the closest thing we have to a truly alien intelligence w

  2. says:

    This book is explanation of our development the evolution from single celled beings to the complex creatures of today The author says that the chemistry of life is auatic That's why we are made of such a large volume of water with a delicate salt balance ourselves I knew this but had never thought of it uite as

  3. says:

    Octopodes or the floppy floppy spider of the sea source ZeFrank are pretty freaking amazing Godfrey Smith agrees which is how this book came about As he notes on page 9 If we can make contact with cephalopods as sentient beings it is not because of shared historybut because evolution built minds twice over This is probably

  4. says:

    When you dive into the sea you are diving into the origin of us all Peter Godfrey Smith Other Minds Mischief and craft are plainly seen to be characteristics of this creature Claudius Aelianus 3rd Century AD writing about the octopu

  5. says:

    Despite what might be gleaned from your Star Treks and Dr Whos the evolution of intelligent life is – as far as I can get my head round it – infinitesimally rare and unlikely The emergence of cells the development of eukaryotes the first multicellular organisms the start of sexual reproduction and finally some kind of freak ev

  6. says:

    Cephalopods are among my favourite animal species They are amazing and yet so much of them remains mysterious I was thrilled to learn of this book when a friend recently reviewed it On the TBR list it wentPeter Go

  7. says:

    Strangely enough this book which could have turned into a free for all metaphysicsphilosophy speculation fest actually turned out to be a relatively careful thoughtful science book that poses but does not attempt to prove that octopods may be the real dealIntelligence does not need a spine Hell to me this should be rather obviousI appreciate how the old scientific prejudice and just plain annoyance with the creatures

  8. says:

    One of the best books I read this year and not one I had been planning to read I skimmed a few reviews which were interesting but did not leave me thinking that I needed to read the full book But then I started a sample on a whim and was swept away by the carefully observed descriptions of octopuses and to a l

  9. says:

    Gosh I wasn't

  10. says:

    Other Minds The Octopus the Sea And the Deep Origins of ConsciousnessOther Minds is one of the most remarkable books I have read everThere is much I loved about this book much that fascinated intrigued puzzled flummoxed and thoroughly delighted