SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2017 ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE

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.

Peter Godfrey-Smith – Other Minds: The Octopus and the Evolution of Intelligent Life (2017)

‘Entrancing and profound’ Financial Times

‘A superb, coruscating book’ Literary Review

‘Startlingly incisive … refreshing guidance’ New York Times

‘The beauty of Godfrey-Smith’s book lies in the clarity of his writing; his empathy, if you will. He takes us through those early stirrings in the seas of deep time, from bacteria that sense light and can taste, to cnidarian jellyfish, the first organisms to exhibit nervous systems, which he describes wonderfully.’ Philip Hoare, Guardian

‘Fascinating and often delightful … This book ingeniously blends philosophy and science to trace the epic journey from single-celled organisms of 3.8 billion years ago to the awakening and development of cephalopod consciousness.’ The Times

‘As poignant as anything you will read this year’ Mail on Sunday

‘In Other Minds, Peter Godfrey-Smith, a philosopher, skilfully combines science, philosophy and his experiences of swimming among these tentacled beasts to illuminate the origin and nature of consciousness.’ The Economist

‘A delight on so many levels’ Dive magazine

‘To investigate these astonishing animals with such empathy and rigour is achievement enough. To do so while casting light on the birth and nature of consciousness, as Peter Godfrey-Smith does here, is captivating.’ China Miéville, author of Kraken

‘I love this book, its masterful blend of natural history, philosophy, and wonder … It’s a captivating story, and Peter Godfrey-Smith brings it alive in vivid, elegant prose … A must-read for anyone interested in the evolution of the mind – ours and the very other, but equally sentient, minds of the cephalopods.’ Jennifer Ackerman, author of The Genius of Birds