The book’s subtitle is The octopus and the evolution of intelligent life. Half the book is indeed devoted to the observation of cephalopod behaviour, especially that of octopuses and cuttlefish. The other half comprises a series of reflections on the evolution of the animal kingdom, nervous systems and minds. The latter embraces the evolution of consciousness. The author is firmly in the started early, started gradually camp, to the extent of conceiving of subjective experience as a phenomenon that preceded consciousness and was possessed a long time ago by a wide range of animals including fish.


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