Book Review: Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness

Author: Peter Godfrey-Smith

While I found the subject matter of this book very interesting, a lot of it was not new information.

Unfortunately, when you read a lot of pop sci, you tend to hear the same studies rehashed over and over. Half psychology half a history of natural sciences and the origins of the cephalopod, this is a good overview of what we know today about consciousness and non-human species. And the truth is, it’s not a lot.

One thing this book makes clear is that more research needs to be done into “consciousness” and how we understand it/project our version of it onto other living organisms.

If you don’t know much about the topic or about cephalopods in general, you may enjoy this book. I’ve read a couple of books on cephalopods so found it a bit repetitive. The author, however, definitely knows his subject matter, and is a scuba diver, which I would think would need to be essential.

Written by Candice Landau
I'm an active Divemaster, a lover of marine life and all efforts related to marine conservation, a newly certified tech diver and a member of various scuba organizations in the Pacific Northwest. I write articles related to diving and spend my non-diving time writing and providing digital marketing services to nonprofits and businesses.