stylized illustration of a leafy sea dragon.

Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind

by Peter Godfrey-Smith Author

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, as he put it. In Metazoa, Godfrey-Smith expands his inquiry to animals at large, investigating the evolution of subjective awareness with the assistance of the far flung species he has met undersea. Combining vivid animal encounters with philosophical reflections and the latest news from biology, Metazoa reveals that even in our hi-tech, AI-driven times, there is no understanding minds without understanding nerves, muscles, and our active bodies. The result is a story as rich and vibrant as life itself, one that explains the mystery of animal consciousness in accessible and riveting prose.