Mind Matters Natural and Artificial Intelligence News and Analysis

TagPlant rights

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 ›

Is Salad Murder?

A Darwinian biologist wrestles with the significance of plant intelligence

If plants can sense things and communicate with each other, even though they lack a mind or brain, should they have rights? In an age of sometimes violent animal rights activism, that’s not an idle question. Plant physiologist Ulrich Kutschera, author of Physiology of Plants. Sensible Vegetation in Action (January 2019, German), talked about it in a recent interview: This is a serious issue which is related to plant intelligence. In April 2009, the Swiss Parliament discussed the topic of “plant ethics” and proposed to attribute to plants a kind of “Würde”, which can be translated as “dignity” (3). As a consequence, some radical plant ethics-activists have distributed T-shirts and other propaganda material with the slogan “Salad is murder”. Despite Read More ›