Does a fly have a mind? What about a tree? Or a machine? How do we even begin to think about ‘minds’ that are not human?
Understanding the human mind and how it relates to the world of experience has challenged scientists and philosophers for centuries. Join award-winning science writer Philip Ball as he argues that, to understand our own minds and imagine those of others, we need to stop considering the human mind as a standard against which all others should be measured.
In this talk, discover what we have learned from the minds of other creatures, from octopuses to chimpanzees, and what we can say about the potential minds of computers and alien intelligences.
Philip Ball is a freelance writer and broadcaster, and was an editor at Nature for more than twenty years. He writes regularly in the scientific and popular media and has written many books on the interactions of the sciences, the arts, and wider culture, including ‘H2O: A Biography of Water’, ‘Bright Earth: The Invention of Colour’, ‘The Music Instinct’, and ‘Curiosity: How Science Became Interested in Everything’.
Philip’s book ‘Critical Mass’ won the 2005 Aventis Prize for Science Books. He is also a presenter of Science Stories, the BBC Radio 4 series on the history of science. He trained as a chemist at the University of Oxford and as a physicist at the University of Bristol. He is the author of ‘The Modern Myths’ and lives in London.
This talk was recorded by the Ri on 23 June 2022.