Amia Srinivasan Oxford University evolution intelligence

The Extraordinary Mind of the Octopus

3 March, 2020

Philosopher Amia Srinivasan has recently been appointed as Chichele Professor of social and political theory at Oxford University, a prestigious chair named after the Archbishop of Canterbury who was also the founder of All Souls College. Previous Chichele professors include such luminaries as Isaiah Berlin, whose famous essay “Two Concepts of Liberty” was originally delivered as his inaugural lecture.

Amia Srinivasan is the first woman to hold the chair and, at 35 years of age, the youngest person to be appointed to the post. On her website, Srinivasan says she works on “political philosophy, epistemology, the history and philosophy of feminism, and metaphilosophy” and is also interested in “alternatives to liberalism and capitalism, the philosophy of history, and animals”. Alongside her scholarly work, Srinivasan also writes for a broader audience and has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, Harper’s, the Times Literary Supplement and The New York Times. She is a contributing editor to the London Review Books where she published this brilliant essay about the extraordinary mind of the octopus and what it might tell us about intelligence, evolution and much else besides. A warning to seafood lovers: after reading this essay, you may decide never to eat octopus again.

Read the essay here.

via London Review of Books 7 September 2017

Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash