I really loved Godfrey-Smith’s Other Minds, so I was expecting something pretty readable and entertaining here. Godfrey-Smith is using the opportunity to dig further into how he thinks minds are formed, and it’s a mixture of science, speculation and philosophy, as was Other Minds. I found, though, that it just didn’t keep my attention very well. It felt like he was taking ages to dig into each point, and like this was a much more self-consciously Serious Book instead of something that shared the wonder and excitement of an animal he loves.
Where he does lean on science, I don’t know anything to his detriment, but it’s not really a field I enjoy very much. I did have a module in my undergrad called “the science of the mind”, but it didn’t really go into this area much at all. There are definitely interesting anecdotes, but sometimes I wanted him to dig into them more — for instance, split brain patients.
A bit disappointing for me, overall, though probably enjoyable for someone who likes grappling with the problem of the evolution of minds.