Other Minds: The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016, and Harper-Collins UK, 2017.

Philosophy of Biology. Princeton University Press, 2014.

Darwinian Populations and Natural Selection. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Theory and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature. Cambridge University Press, 1996.


Articles and Chapters:

Content in Simple Signalling Systems,” (N. Shea, P. Godfrey-Smith, R. Cao), British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. Online first:

Senders, Receivers, and Symbolic Artifacts,” in press in Biological Theory.

Complexity Revisited,” Biology and Philosophy 32 (2017): 467-479. A Reply to papers about Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature (1996) by Pamela Lyon, Fred Keijzer & Argyris Arnellos, and Matthew Grove.

Individuality, Subjectivity, and Minimal Cognition,” Biology and Philosophy 31 (2016): 775-796 (in a special issue edited by Thomas Pradeu).

Common Interest and Signaling Games: A Dynamic Analysis,” (M. Martínez and P. Godfrey-Smith), Philosophy of Science 83 (2016): 371–392.

Signal Use by Octopuses in Agonistic Interactions,” (D. Scheel, P. Godfrey-Smith, M. Lawrence) Current Biology 26 (2016): 1-6.

Complex Life Cycles and the Evolutionary Process,Philosophy of Science 83 (2016) pp. 816–827 (PSA 2014 Symposium Proceedings).

Mind, Matter, and Metabolism,” forthcoming in the Journal of Philosophy.

Animal Evolution and the Origins of Experience,” forthcoming in How Biology Shapes Philosophy: New Foundations for Naturalism, edited by David Livingstone Smith, Cambridge University Press.

Reproduction, Symbiosis, and the Eukaryotic Cell,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 112 no. 3 (2015). 10120–10125, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421378112.

An Option Space for Early Neural Evolution” (G. Jékely, F. Keijzer, and P. Godfrey-Smith). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 370 (2015) 20150181 (biorxiv pre-print here).

A Tortoise–Hare Pattern Seen in Adapting Structured  and Unstructured Populations Suggests a Rugged  Fitness Landscape in Bacteria,” (J. Nahum, P. Godfrey-Smith, B. Harding, J. Marcus, J. Carlson-Stevermer, and B. Kerr). Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 112 (2015): 7530-7535.

Individuality and Life Cycles” in Individuals Across the Sciences, edited by Thomas Pradeu and Alexander Guay, Oxford University Press, 2015, pp. 85-102.

Octopus tetricus (Mollusca: Cephalopoda) as an Ecosystem Engineer,” (D. Scheel, P. Godfrey-Smith, M. Lawrence), Scientia Marina 78 (2014): 521-528.

Communication and Common Interest,” (P. Godfrey-Smith and M. Martínez), PLoS Computational Biology 9 (2013): e1003282. <doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003282>

Sender-Receiver Systems Within and Between Organisms,” Philosophy of Science 81 (2014): 866-878.

Dewey and the Question of Realism,” Noûs 50 (2016): 73–89. (Preprint here.)

Signs and Symbolic Behavior,” Biological Theory 9 (2014): 78-88.

Quine and Pragmatism,” in A Companion to W. V. O. Quine, edited by G. Harman and E. LePore, Blackwell, 2014.

Pragmatism: Philosophical Aspects,” in International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, edited by J. Wright, 2nd edition (2015), Vol 18. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 803–807.

Darwinian Individuals,” in F. Bouchard and P. Huneman (eds.), From Groups to Individuals: Perspectives on Biological Associations and Emerging Individuality. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2013, pp. 17-36.

Popper’s Philosophy of Science: Looking Ahead,” in J. Shearmur and G. Stokes (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Popper. Cambridge University Press, 2016.

Cephalopods and the Evolution of the Mind,” Pacific Conservation Biology 19 (2013): 4-9.

Long-Term High-Density Occupation of a Site by Octopus tetricus, with Possible Site Modification Due to Foraging Behavior,” (P. Godfrey-Smith and M. Lawrence). Marine and Freshwater Behavior and Physiology 45 (2012): 261-268.

Darwinism and Cultural Change,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 367 (2012): 2160-2170

Information and Influence in Sender-Receiver Models, with Applications to Animal Behavior,” in U. Stegmann, (ed.), Animal Communication Theory: Information and Influence. Cambridge University Press, 2013, pp. 377-396.

Metaphysics and the Philosophical Imagination,” Philosophical Studies 160 (2012): 97-113.

Dewey and the Subject-Matter of Science,” in J. Shook and P. Kurtz (eds.), Dewey’s Enduring Impact, Prometheus Books, 2010, pp. 73–86. Also forthcoming in Italian in Pragmatismo e Filosofia della Scienza.

Darwinian Populations and Transitions in Individuality,” in B. Calcott and K. Sterelny (eds.), The Major Transitions in Evolution Revisited (Vienna Series in Theoretical Biology). MIT Press, 2011, pp. 65-81.

Gestalt-Switching and the Evolutionary Transitions,” with Ben Kerr, British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (2013): 205-222.

Induction, Samples, and Kinds,” in J. Campbell, M. O’Rourke, and M. Slater (eds.), Carving Nature at its Joints: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, MIT Press, 2011.

Signals, Icons, and Beliefs” in D. Ryder and J. Kingsbury, D. Ryder, and K. Williford Millikan and Her Critics. Blackwell, 2012, pp. 41-58.

Field observations of mating in Octopus tetricus Gould, 1852 and Amphioctopus marginatus (Taki, 1964) (Cephalopoda: Octopodidae),” with (as first author) Christine Huffard.  Molluscan Research 30 (2010): 81-86.

Dewey, Continuity, and McDowell,” in M. de Caro and D. MacArthur (eds.), Normativity and Nature, Columbia University Press, 2010, pp. 304-321.

Causal Pluralism,” in H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock, and P. Menzies, (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Causation. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010, 326-337.

“Evolutionary Theory: 5 Questions. Peter Godfrey-Smith” in G. Oftedal, J. K. Friis, and P. Rossel (eds.), Evolutionary Theory: 5 Questions. Copenhagen: Automatic Press, 2009, pp. 37-44.

Selection in Ephemeral Networks,” with Ben Kerr. American Naturalist 174 (2009) 906-911.

Triviality Arguments Against Functionalism,” Philosophical Studies 145 (2009): 273-295

Generalization of the Price Equation for Evolutionary Change,” with Ben Kerr. Evolution 63 (2009): 531-536.

Abstractions, Idealizations, and Evolutionary Biology,” in A. Barberousse, M. Morange, and T. Pradeu (eds.), Mapping the Future of Biology: Evolving Concepts and Theories.  (Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science), Springer, 2009, pp. 47-56

Models and Fictions in Science,” Philosophical Studies 143 (2009): 101-116.

Adaptationism and the Adaptive Landscape,” with Jon F. Wilkins. Biology and Philosophy

Reduction in Real Life,” in J. Hohwy and J. Kallestrup (eds.), Being Reduced. Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 52-74.

Information in Biology,” in D. Hull and M. Ruse (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge University Press, 2007, pp. 103-119.

Adaptationism,” (with Jon F. Wilkins), in S. Sarkar and A. Plutynski (eds.),  A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology. London: Blackwell, 2008, pp. 186-201.

Varieties of Population Structure and the Levels of Selection,” British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (2008): 25-50.

“Biological Information,” (with Kim Sterelny), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2007 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), <>, (major revision 2016).

Conditions for Evolution by Natural Selection,” Journal of Philosophy 104 (2007): 489-516.

Innateness and Genetic Information,” in P. Carruthers, S, Lawrence, and S. Stich (eds.),  The Innate Mind, Volume 3: Foundations and the Future. Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 55-68.

The Strategy of Model-Based Science,” Biology and Philosophy 21 (2006): 725-740.

Local Interaction, Multi-Level Selection, and Evolutionary Transitions,” Biological Theory 1 (2006): 372-380.

Theories and Models in Metaphysics, Harvard Review of Philosophy 14 (2006): 4-19.

Mental Representation, Naturalism, and Teleosemantics,” in G. MacDonald and D. Papineau (eds.), Teleosemantics. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006, pp. 42-68.

Folk Psychology as a Model,” The Philosopher’s Imprint 5 (2005) No. 6: 1-16.

“Untangling the Evolution of Mental Representation,” in A. Zilhão (ed.) Cognition, Evolution, and Rationality: A Cognitive Science for the 21st Century. London: Routledge, 2005, pp. pp. 85-102.

What is Altruism?” with (first author) B. Kerr and M. Feldman. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19 (2004): 135-140.

On Folk Psychology and Mental Representation,” in H. Clapin, P. Staines, and P. Slezak (eds.) Representation in Mind: New Approaches to Mental Representation. Amsterdam: Elsevier Publishers, 2004, pp. 147-162.

Between Baldwin Boosterism and Baldwin Skepticism,” in B. Weber and D. Depew (eds.), Evolution and LearningThe Baldwin Effect Reconsidered. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2003, pp. 53-67.

Goodman’s Problem and Scientific Methodology,” Journal of Philosophy 100 (2003): 573-590.

Individualist and Multi-level Perspectives on Selection in Structured Populations,” with B. Kerr. Biology and Philosophy 17 (2002): 477-517. With commentaries, and replies by the authors.

On Price’s Equation and Average Fitness,” with (first author) B. Kerr. Biology and Philosophy 17 (2002): 551-565.

Dewey on Naturalism, Realism and Science,” Philosophy of Science  69 (2002): S1-S11 (Proceedings of PSA 2000).

“On the Evolution of Representational and Interpretive Capacities,” The Monist 85 (2002): 50-69.

Environmental Complexity and the Evolution of Cognition,” in R. Sternberg and J. Kaufman (eds.) The Evolution of Intelligence. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum, 2002, pp. 233-249.

“On Genetic Information and Genetic Coding,” in P. Gardenfors, J. Wolenski and K. Kajania-Placek (eds.), In the Scope of Logic, Methodology, and the Philosophy of Science, Vol. II. Dordrecht: Kluwer,  2002, pp. 387-400.

Three Kinds of Adaptationism,” in S. H. Orzack and E. Sober (eds.), Adaptationism and Optimality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 335-357.

“On the Status and Explanatory Structure of DST,” in S. Oyama, P. Griffiths and R. Gray (eds.) Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2001, pp. 283-297.

Organism, Environment and Dialectics,” in R. Singh, C. Krimbas, D. Paul and J. Beatty (eds.), Thinking About Evolution: Historical, Philosophical and Political Perspectives. (Volume 2 of a Festschrift for R. C. Lewontin). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2001, pp. 253-266.

Information and the Argument from Design,” in R. Pennock (ed.), Intelligent Design Creationism and its Critics: Philosophical, Theological and Scientific Perspectives. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 2001, pp. 575-596.

On the Theoretical Role of  ‘Genetic Coding,'” Philosophy of Science 67 (2000): 26-44.

The Replicator in Retrospect,” Biology and Philosophy 15 (2000): 403-423.

Genes and Codes: Lessons from the Philosophy of Mind?” in V. Hardcastle (ed.), Where Biology Meets Psychology: Philosophical Essays. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1999,  pp. 305-331.

“Explanatory Symmetries, Preformation and Developmental Systems Theory,” Philosophy of Science 67 (2000): S322-S331. (Proceedings of PSA 1998).

Adaptationism and the Power of Selection,” Biology and Philosophy 14 (1999): 181-194. To be reprinted in S. Linquist (ed.), Philosophy of Evolutionary. Ashgate Publishing.

On the Evolution of Behavioral Complexity in Individuals and Populations,” with (first author) C. Bergstrom, Biology and Philosophy 13 (1998): 205-231.

“A Continuum of Semantic Optimism,” in S. Stich and T. Warfield (eds.), Mental RepresentationA Reader. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994, pp. 259-277.

“Of Nulls and Norms,” in D. Hull, M. Forbes and K. Okruhlik (eds.) PSA 1994, Volume 1. East Lansing: Philosophy of Science Association, 1994, pp. 280-290.

“Spencer and Dewey on Life and Mind,” in R. Brooks and P. Maes (eds.), Artificial Life 4. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1994, pp. 80-89. Reprinted with revisions in M. Boden (ed.) The Philosophy of Artificial Life. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1996, pp. 314-331.

A Modern History Theory of Functions, “Noûs 28(1994): 344-362. Reprinted in C. Allen, M. Bekoff and G. Lauder (eds.), Nature’s Purposes: Analyses of Function and Design in Biology. Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1998, pp. 453-77. Reprinted in D. Buller (ed.) Function, Selection and  Design. Albany: Suny Press, 1999, pp. 199-220. Reprinted in A. Rosenberg and R. Arp (eds.), Philosophy of Biology: An Anthology. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009, pp. 175-188. To be reprinted in S. Linquist (ed.) Philosophy of Evolutionary Biology. Ashgate Publishing.

Functions: Consensus Without Unity,”  Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (1993): 196-208. Reprinted in D. Hull and M. Ruse (eds.), The Philosophy of Biology.  Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998, pp. 280-92. Reprinted also in D. Buller (ed.) Function, Selection and  Design. Albany: Suny Press, 1999, pp. 185-197.

The Dimensions of Selection,” with R. C. Lewontin, Philosophy of Science 60 (1993): 373-395.

Indication and Adaptation,” Synthese 92 (1992): 283-312.

Additivity and the Units of Selection,” in D. Hull, M. Forbes and K. Okruhlik (eds.) PSA 1992, Volume 1. East Lansing: Philosophy of Science Association, 1992, pp. 315-328.

“Signal, Decision, Action,” Journal of Philosophy 88 (1991): 709-722.

“Misinformation,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy 19 (1989): 533-50.

“Why Semantic Properties Won’t Earn their Keep,” Philosophical Studies 50 (1986): 223-236.


Magazines and Newspapers

The Loss of MusicThe Conversation, November 25, 2016. Republished by ABC News (Australia) as “Does the rise of streaming and downloading mean the loss of music?” November 27, 2016.

Do Squid Feel Pain?” (review of Dehaene’s Consciousness and the Brain), London Review of Books 38 (February 2016), pp. 25-26.

Finding Your Way Home,” (review of Dreyfus and Taylor’s Retrieving Realism), Boston Review, September/October 2015, pp. 52-57.

The Ant and the Steam Engine” (review of Lovelock’s A Rough Ride to the Future), London Review of Books 37, 4 (2015) 18-20.

On Being an Octopus,” Boston Review, May/June 2013, pp. 46-50. (Listed in the “Notable Essays of 2013” section in Best American Essays 2014.)

Not Sufficiently Reassuring” (review of Thomas Nagel’s Mind and Cosmos), London Review of Books 35, 2 (2013): 20-21.

It Got Eaten” (Review of J. Fodor and M. Piattelli-Palmerini’s What Darwin Got Wrong, 2010), London Review of Books 32, 13 (2010): 29-30.

Tiers of Success in a Smooth System,” The Australian newspaper, Higher Education Supplement, November 19, 2008.

Useful Lessons from California,” Quadrant Magazine, Volume 50 (2006): 64-66. An edited version appears as “The Model of Achievement” in the Australian newspaper, November 1, 2006.

Can We Control Disease?” (Review of Laurie Garrett’s The Coming Plague, 1995).  Boston Review 22 (1997): 16-19.


Book Reviews, Discussion Notes, etc:

Pain in Parallel,” Animal Sentience 2016.028 (criticism of a target article by Brian Key).

Review of Cephalopod Cognition (edited by Darmaillacq, Dickel, & Mather), Animal Behavior 106 (2015): 145–147.

Review of Stephen Davies’s The Artful Species, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, August 2013.

“Untimely Review” of John Dewey’s Experience and NatureTopoi 33 (2014): 285-291.

Review of Signals, by Brian Skyrms. Mind 120 (2011): 1288-1297.

Agents and Acacias: Replies to Dennett, Sterelny, and Queller,” Biology and Philosophy 26 (2011): 501-515.

Senders, Receivers, and Genetic Information: Comments on Bergstrom and Rosvall,” Biology and Philosophy 26 (2011): 171-181.

“Explanation in Evolutionary Biology: Comments on Fodor,” Mind and Language 23 (2008): 32-41.

Recurrent Transient Underdetermination and the Glass Half Full,” Philosophical Studies 137 (2008): 141-148.

Is it a Revolution?” (Symposium paper on Jablonka and Lamb’s Evolution in Four Dimensions), Biology and Philosophy 22 (2007): 429-437.

“Folk Psychology Under Stress: Comments on Susan Hurley’s ‘Animal Action in the Space of Reasons,'” Mind and Language 18

“Group Selection, Pluralism, and the Evolution of Altruism: A Review of [E. Sober and D. S. Wilson’s] Unto Others,” (with M. Barrett), Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 65 (2002): 685-691.

“On the Role of Information and Replication in Selection Processes,” (peer commentary) Behavioral and Brain Sciences 24 (2001): 538.

Review of Kim Sterelny’s The Evolution of Agency and Other Essays (2001). Mind 112 (2003): 567-572

Entry for “Pragmatism” in the Elsevier Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2001. (Second edition, 2013)

“Information, Arbitrariness and Selection: Comments on Maynard Smith,” Philosophy of Science 67 (2000): 202-207.

“Niche Construction in Biological and Philosophical Theories,” (invited commentary)  Behavioral and Brain Sciences23 (2000): 153-154

“Procrustes Probably: Comments on Sober’s ‘Physicalism from a Probabilistic Point of View,'” Philosophical Studies (Proceedings of the 1997 Oberlin Philosophy Colloqium) 95 (1999): 175-181.

“Maternal Effects: On Dennett and Darwin’s Dangerous Idea,” Philosophy of Science 65 (1998): 709-720.

Review of Elliot Sober’s From a Biological Point of View (1994). Journal of Philosophy 94 (1997): 160-164.

“Replies to Sober, Sterelny and Neander,” Biology and Philosophy 12 (1997): 581-590. (Replies to reviews of Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.)

“Author’s Outline” and “Replies to Critics” of Complexity and the Function of Mind in NatureMetascience 12 (1997): 7-12, 31-37.

“Précis of Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature,” Adaptive Behavior 4 (1996): 453-465.

“Replies to Four Critics,” Adaptive Behavior 4 (1996): 486-93. (Replies to reviews of Complexity and the Function of Mind in Nature.)

“Meaning, Models and Selection: A Review of [David Papineau’s] Philosophical Naturalism.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 56 (1996): 673-578.

“Preface to Chapters 15 and 16,” in R. Belew and M. Mitchell (eds.), Adaptive Individuals in Evolving Populations:Models and Algorithms. Santa Fe Institute Studies in the Sciences of Complexity, Proceedings Vol. XXIII. Reading MA: Addison-Wesley, 1995, pp. 227-31. The Preface is to selections from Herbert Spencer’s writings on evolution, chosen by me.

“Function” in J. Kim and E. Sosa (eds.), A Companion to Metaphysics. Oxford: Blackwell, 1995, pp. 187-88.

Entry for “Semantics, Teleological/Biological,” in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Entry for “J. A. Fodor,” in the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Review of Elliott Sober’s Reconstructing the Past: Parsimony, Evolution and Inference (1988). Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 53 (1993): 487-490.

Review of Ruth Millikan’s Language, Thought, and Other Biological CategoriesAustralasian Journal of Philosophy 66 (1988): 556-560.

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