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Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind (2020)

Tekijä: Peter Godfrey-Smith

JäseniäKirja-arvostelujaSuosituimmuussijaKeskimääräinen arvioMaininnat
274896,587 (3.93)3
"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 2016 book, Other Minds, the philosopher and scuba diver Peter Godfrey-Smith explored the mind of the octopus--the closest thing to an intelligent alien on Earth. In Metazoa, Godfrey-Smith expands his inquiry to animals at large, investigating the evolution of subjective experience with the assistance of far-flung species. As he delves into what it feels like to perceive and interact with the world as other life-forms do, Godfrey-Smith shows that the appearance of the animal body well over half a billion years ago was a profound innovation that set life upon a new path. In accessible, riveting prose, he charts the ways that subsequent evolutionary developments--eyes that track, for example, and bodies that move through and manipulate the environment--shaped the subjective lives of animals. Following the evolutionary paths of a glass sponge, soft coral, banded shrimp, octopus, and fish, then moving onto land and the world of insects, birds, and primates like ourselves, Metazoa gathers their stories together in a way that bridges the gap between mind and matter, addressing one of the most vexing philosophical problems: that of consciousness." -- Amazon.com "A philosopher of science explains how the animal kingdom gave rise to human consciousness"--… (lisätietoja)
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Näyttää 1-5 (yhteensä 8) (seuraava | näytä kaikki)
I enjoyed this book, which was something of a survey of the evolution of the “mind” Not just the human mind, but what constitutes sentience, minimum cognition or a subjective experience.
I was pleased whenever the author was relating either experiments that seemed to demonstrate aspects of these states of consciousness in various creatures or relating anecdotes about personal experiences he felt demonstrated some aspect of what he was writing about. I e joyed less the discussions of materialism, monism, etc. Of course, complaining there’s too much philosophy in the philosophy ook is a bit churlish. Overall, a great and thought provoking read ( )
  cspiwak | Mar 6, 2024 |
Finally a compelling rejection of the vast amount of nonsense dreamt up by well meaning (but misguided) philosophers of mind.

If you’re curious as to what’s going on when you experience curiosity, this might be the book for you; it was for me. ( )
  amackera | Dec 28, 2023 |
Metazoa is, according to the book itself, the second part of an imagined trilogy of books by Godfrey-Smith. Where "Other Minds" relied heavily on an introduction to the philosophy of mind and the octopus in particular, this book feels like an intermediate course that tries to build from the starting blocks of biology at the earliest stages of the tree of life to formulate the basics of perception to bridge into the question of consciousness.
However, it's also clearly half a thought. It ends with a series of speculations that beg the existence of the concluding part to flesh out the ideas touched upon in this book.

I liked the widening of the topic, the bottom-up narrative, but can't five star it when it's just half of a complete work. ( )
  A.Godhelm | Oct 20, 2023 |
Dr. Godfrey-Smith is an Australian scuba diver who was trained as a philosopher of science and is the author of Other minds about the probable sentience of cephalopods. This book is a discussion of the notion that sentience or consciousness was acquired gradually, i.e. not as an all or none phenomenon, by animals as they evolved new kinds of senses and actions over time, and especially as they developed nervous systems. Furthermore, not only did consciousness develop in this way, but it exists today in various degrees in non-human animals.

The strength of the book is the author's fascinating description of various mostly sea creatures and his personal observations of their behaviors. Other less interesting parts of the book that are about theories of consciousness, including mention of neuronal oscillations and the generation of energy fields, are necessarily vague and require some hand-waving in their exposition. ( )
  markm2315 | Jul 1, 2023 |
A wonderful book! Continues the exploration of consciousness he started in “Other Minds” by looking at other forms of life. Great combination of biology and philosophy of mind, with lots of reasoning based on evolutionary theory. Also, the author is a great observer of wildlife. Finally, I loved his writing style - he doesn’t lecture the reader, instead he brings you along on a voyage with him. He has a definite point of view, but he is humble and is respectful to those who he doesn’t agree with. Reminds me of Darwin, and what higher praise is possible? ( )
  steve02476 | Jan 3, 2023 |
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Englanninkielinen Wikipedia

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"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 2016 book, Other Minds, the philosopher and scuba diver Peter Godfrey-Smith explored the mind of the octopus--the closest thing to an intelligent alien on Earth. In Metazoa, Godfrey-Smith expands his inquiry to animals at large, investigating the evolution of subjective experience with the assistance of far-flung species. As he delves into what it feels like to perceive and interact with the world as other life-forms do, Godfrey-Smith shows that the appearance of the animal body well over half a billion years ago was a profound innovation that set life upon a new path. In accessible, riveting prose, he charts the ways that subsequent evolutionary developments--eyes that track, for example, and bodies that move through and manipulate the environment--shaped the subjective lives of animals. Following the evolutionary paths of a glass sponge, soft coral, banded shrimp, octopus, and fish, then moving onto land and the world of insects, birds, and primates like ourselves, Metazoa gathers their stories together in a way that bridges the gap between mind and matter, addressing one of the most vexing philosophical problems: that of consciousness." -- Amazon.com "A philosopher of science explains how the animal kingdom gave rise to human consciousness"--

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