Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

CategoryPlant Mind

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small tree growing with sunshine in garden. eco concept

Again with the ‘Plants Are Intelligent’ Nonsense

It seems to me that the ultimate point of these “plants are persons too”–type stories is to undermine human exceptionalism
Human uniqueness is essential to our duties to each other, our posterity, the humane treatment of animals, and proper husbanding of the environment. Read More ›
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Tropical green leaves on dark background, nature summer forest plant concept

Yes, Plants Do Communicate — But Is It a One-Way Street?

Are we straining the meaning of the term “communication” by overinterpreting what we observe?
The study of plant communication may have useful applications but perhaps comparisons with animal communication should be made cautiously. Read More ›
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Trees in forest from below, green tops of trees, blue sky background

Are Plants Cognitive, Intelligent Organisms? A Controversy Brews

Some plant biologists want to see them that way; others continue to insist on a Darwinian view
Darwinians may need to learn how to “adapt” to a new environment where panpsychism is increasingly an underlying assumption in science and science writing. Read More ›
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Venus flytrap is one of the carnivore plants

A Science Writer Makes the Case for Plants as Conscious Beings

Annaka Harris, neuroscience and physics writer, starts by casting doubt on human consciousness

Annaka Harris, a science writer focusing on neuroscience and physics and the author of Conscious: A Brief Guide to the Fundamental Mystery of the Mind (2019), challenges us to reflect on two points: 1) In a system that we know has conscious experiences — the human brain — what evidence of consciousness can we detect from the outside? 2) Is consciousness essential to our behavior? The editor notes, introducing an excerpt from the book, “But how sure can we be that plants aren’t conscious? And what if what we take to be behavior indicating consciousness can be replicated with no conscious agent involved? Annaka Harris invites us to consider the real possibility that our intuitions about consciousness might be mere Read More ›