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Minds: The Octopus,
the Sea, and the Deep
A New York Times Book ReviewEditorsâ€ ChoiceOne of the Most Anticipated Books of
Fall 2016 and a Top Ten Science Book of Fall 2016, Publishers Weekly'If this is philosophy, it
works, because Godfrey-Smith is a rare philosopher who searches the world for clues.
Knowledgeable and curious, he examines, he admires. His explorations are good-natured. He is
never dogmatic, yet startlingly incisive.' â€•Carl Safina, The New York Times Book Review
'Entrancing and profound . . . Godfrey-Smith takes us on a philosophical journey of a quite unique
kind, for its backdrop is the sea. We accompany the author, an avid diver and admirable writer, as
he explores the lives of the cephalopods and the origins of consciousness . . . As is clear from the
title of Godfrey-Smith's bookâ€•as well as his enchanting descriptions of encounters with
octopodsâ€•he believes these creatures have minds.'â€•Stephen Cave, Financial Times
'A philosopher of science and experienced deep-sea diver, Godfrey-Smith has rolled his
obsessions into one book, weaving biology and philosophy into a dazzling pattern that looks a lot
like the best of pop science. He peppers his latest book with vivid anecdotes from his cephalopod
encounters . . . [and] relates dramatic stories of mischief made by captive octopuses . . . [but] his
project is no less ambitious than to work out the evolutionary origins of subjective experience . . .
The result is an incredibly insightful and enjoyable book.'â€•Meehan Crist, Los Angeles Times
'[Other Minds is] a terrific mix of Cousteau-esque encounters with [cephalopods] in the wild . . .
wide-ranging scientific discussion, and philosophical analysis. Beautifully written, thoughtprovoking,
and bold, this book is the latest, and most closely argued, salvo in the debate over
whether octopuses and other cephalopods are intelligent, sentient beings.'â€•Olivia Judson,
The Atlantic 'A smoothly written and captivating account of the octopus and its brethren . . .
[Godfrey-Smith] stresses their dissimilarity to us and other mammals, but he also wants us to
appreciate what we have in common . . . Mr. Godfrey-Smith mixes the scientific with the personal,
giving us lively descriptions of his dives to 'Octopolis,' a site off the east coast of Australia at which
octopuses gather.'â€•Colin McGinn, The Wall Street Journal'To investigate these astonishing
animals with such empathy and rigor is achievement enough. To do so while casting light on the
birth and nature of consciousness, as Godfrey-Smith does here, is captivating.'â€•China
MiÃ©ville, author of The City & The City and Kraken'Brilliant . . . The beauty of Godfrey-
Smithâ€s book lies in the clarity of his writing; his empathy, if you will . . . He proves that, like all
aliens, these strange, beautiful creatures are more like us than our hubris allows.'â€•Philip Hoare,