Animal Consciousness

Finding Minds in a Material World

How did minds first evolve out of matter? Could consciousness have evolved more than once? How do we tell which living things have minds? Is there something it’s like to be a crab and live a crab's life? This week we’re thinking about “Minds and Matter.”

The Curious Lives of Octopuses

Octopuses live in a world of paradox. Though colorblind, they change their pigment to match their surrounding area. Though brilliant, they average a lifespan of only 2 to 4 years. Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and The Deep Origins of Consciousness, by Peter Godfrey-Smith, attempts to resolve these paradoxes.

Dennett vs. Papineau on Consciousness

Both David Papineau and Dan Dennett are famed materialists (the doctrine that consciousness can be fully explained by material and neuronal functions), so why did Papineau give Dennett's book, From Bacteria to Bach and Back, a critical review?