Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ten top books about consciousness

Adrian Owen is the Canada Excellence Research Chair in Cognitive Neuroscience and Imaging at The Brain and Mind Institute, Western University, Canada, and author of Into the Grey Zone: A Neuroscientist Explores the Border Between Life and Death. One of his top ten books about consciousness, as shared at the Guardian:
Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea and the Deep Origins of Consciousness by Peter Godfrey-Smith

Written by a philosopher, yet borrowing heavily from evolutionary biology, this unique and fascinating book – which was shortlisted for this year’s Royal Society science book prize – asks us to rethink intelligence and how we conceptualise “other minds” – notably, that of the octopus. While the octopus evolved independently of humans, it has a similar number of neurons and exhibits highly intelligent patterns of behaviour that allow it to do things like opening screwtop jars from the inside. Yet unlike humans, more than half of an octopus’s neurons are in its arms, suggesting that in searching for intelligent life, we need look beyond those whose form resembles our own.
Read about another entry on the list.

Writers Read: Peter Godfrey-Smith (December 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue