Searching for: "Peter Godfrey-Smith"

  • Peter Godfrey-Smith

    Philosopher Peter Godfrey-Smith dons a wet suit and journeys into the depths of consciousness in Other Minds 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 squid, 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...read more

  • Peter Godfrey-Smith

    This program is read by Peter Godfrey-Smith with Mitch Riley. The scuba-diving philosopher who wrote Other Minds explores the origins of animal consciousness. Dip below the ocean's surface and you are soon confronted by forms of life that could not seem more foreign to our own: sea sponges, soft corals, and serpulid worms, whose rooted bodies, intricate geometry, and flower-like appendages are more reminiscent of plant life or even architecture than anything recognizably animal. Yet these creatures are our cousins. As fellow members of the animal kingdom-the Metazoa-they can teach us much about the evolutionary origins of not only our bodies, but also our minds. In his acclaimed...read more

  • Peter Godfrey-Smith

    The follow-up to the BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week Other Minds A Times and Sunday Times Book of the Year A Waterstones Best Book of 2020 The scuba-diving philosopher explores the origins of animal consciousness. Dip below the ocean’s surface and you are soon confronted by forms of life that could not seem more foreign to our own: sea sponges, soft corals and flower-like worms, whose rooted bodies and intricate geometry are more reminiscent of plant life than anything recognisably animal. Yet these creatures are our cousins. As fellow members of the animal kingdom – the Metazoa – they can teach us about the...read more

  • Peter Godfrey-Smith

    BBC R4 Book of the Week ‘Brilliant’ Guardian ‘Fascinating and often delightful’ The Times What if intelligent life on Earth evolved not once, but 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 distinguished philosopher of science and a skilled scuba diver, tells a bold new story of how nature became aware of itself – a story that largely occurs in the ocean, where animals first appeared. Tracking the mind’s fitful development from unruly clumps of seaborne cells to the first evolved...read more

  • Peter Godfrey-Smith

    How does science work? Does it tell us what the world is 'really' like? What makes it different from other ways of understanding the universe? In Theory and Reality, Peter Godfrey-Smith addresses these questions by taking the listener on a grand tour of one hundred years of debate about science. The result is a completely accessible introduction to the main themes of the philosophy of science. Intended for undergraduates and general audiences with no prior background in philosophy, Theory and Reality covers logical positivism; the problems of induction and confirmation; Karl Popper's theory of science; Thomas Kuhn and 'scientific revolutions'; the views of Imre Lakatos, Larry Laudan, and...read more