This lecture begins with a sketch of the first versions of 'Australian materialism' and then looks at how the landscape of debate changed. Godfrey-Smith will criticize some of the later developments (including versions of functionalism and representationalism) and begin to present a positive view. The last part of the talk will look at the evolutionary history of subjectivity.
Peter Godfrey-Smith grew up in Sydney, Australia, and holds a BA from the University of Sydney and a PhD in philosophy from the University of California, San Diego. He taught at Stanford, Harvard, the Australian National University, and the CUNY Graduate Center before moving to his current position as Professor of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Sydney. His main research interests are in the philosophy of biology and the philosophy of mind, though he also works on pragmatism and various other parts of philosophy. He has written five books, including the widely used textbook Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (Chicago, 2003) and Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection (Oxford, 2009), which won the 2010 Lakatos Award. His most recent book is Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness (Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2016).