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What is a mind? In conversation with Philip Ball

What is a mind? In conversation with Philip Ball

Nick Spencer speaks with science writer Philip Ball. 31/10/2023

You have a mind, right? At least, that’s what you and those who know you will think. But would you say the same of your pet? What about creatures like dolphins or octopus? Aliens (assuming they exist)? Robots and AI? God?

What does it mean to ‘have a mind’? Are all minds the same? Why should such a costly thing appear in evolution? And if we understand our minds, does that mean we have finally understood ourselves?

In this week’s episode, Nick Spencer speaks to science writer Philip Ball about his book The Book of Minds: Understanding Ourselves and Other Beings, From Animals to Aliens.


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Nick Spencer

Nick Spencer

Nick is Senior Fellow at Theos. He is the author of a number of books and reports, including Magisteria: the entangled histories of science and religion (Oneworld, 2023), The Political Samaritan: how power hijacked a parable (Bloomsbury, 2017), The Evolution of the West (SPCK, 2016) and Atheists: The Origin of the Species (Bloomsbury, 2014). He is host of the podcast Reading Our Times.

Watch, listen to or read more from Nick Spencer

Posted 31 October 2023

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