The Evolution of Sentience
Thursday 13 October at 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Friends Room in the Mitchell Building, State Library of New South Wales
1 Shakespeare Place, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
In the 2022 Dyason Lecture presented by the Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science, Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith considers the evolution of sentience.
How did evolution give rise to feelings, such as pleasure and pain? And which organisms experience the events of their lives in this way? Do insects feel pain? Octopuses? How about plants? Where might we locate the true limits of sentience?
Bookings are essential. Bookings can be made on the State Library event page.
Professor Peter Godfrey-Smith is a professor in the School of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. His undergraduate degree is from the University of Sydney, and he has a PhD in philosophy from UC San Diego. He taught at Stanford University between 1991 and 2003, and then combined a half-time post at the Australian National University and a visiting position at Harvard for a few years. He moved to Harvard full-time and was Professor there from 2006 to 2011, before moving to the CUNY Graduate Center. Since 2015 he has also had a half-time position in the HPS Unit at the University of Sydney.
Peter’s main research interests are in the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of mind. He also works on pragmatism (especially John Dewey), general philosophy of science, and some parts of metaphysics and epistemology. Peter has written six books: Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature, Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science, Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection, which won the 2010 Lakatos Award, Philosophy of Biology, Other Minds: The Octopus, The Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness, and Metazoa: Animal Life and the Both of the Mind. Peter’s photos and videos have appeared in the New York Times, National Geographic, The Guardian, Science, The Boston Globe and elsewhere.