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Public Books Circle: "Metazoa": An online book discussion with Jon Garthoff

Join UT professor of philosophy Jon Garthoff on September 7, 2022, for an engaging online discussion of Peter Godfrey-Smith's book "Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind," hosted by the UT Humanities Center.

About the book:
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. In "Metazoa," Godfrey-Smith expands his inquiry to animals at large, investigating the evolution of subjective experience with the assistance of far-flung species. In accessible and riveting prose, Godfrey-Smith delves into what it feels like to perceive and interact with the world as other life-forms do, charting how evolutionary developments shaped the subjective lives of animals. Following the evolutionary paths of the glass sponge, soft coral, banded shrimp, octopus, and fish, then moving onto land and the world of insects, birds, and primates, "Metazoa" gathers stories together to bridge the gap between mind and matter, addressing one of the most vexing philosophical problems: that of consciousness.

Buy a copy of the book or check it out from the library. Read, enjoy, and then join the book discussion online to hear an expert in the field talk about the major ideas of a text that you have read!

Jon Garthoff is a professor and director of graduate studies in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. His research interests are in ethical theory, political philosophy, and the philosophy of the mind. He is especially interested in how psychological capacities--including capacities possessed by many nonhuman animals, such as as consciousness and thought--figure in our best understandings of ethics, politics, and law. His work has appeared in many leading academic journals, including Philosophical Studies and Psychological Review. With colleagues from Psychology and Anthropology, he won UT's 2019 College of Arts and Sciences Award for Interdisciplinary Collaboration and Research.

If you enjoy this series, please visit to learn about opportunities to support future UT Humanities Center programming.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2022 at 7:00pm

Virtual Event
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Lectures & Presentations


Humanities & Social Sciences, Science


Current Students, Faculty & Staff, Alumni


College of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Center, Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development, Philosophy
Contact Name

Katie Hodges-Kluck

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