Plant intelligence

From Kook Science

" is consistent with the doctrine of continuity that in all living things there is something psychic, and if we accept this point of view we must believe that in plants there exists a faint copy of what we know as consciousness in ourselves."

Sir Francis Darwin (1908)


  • Trewavas, Anthony (2003), "Aspects of Plant Intelligence", Annals of Botany (Oxford Journals) 92 (1): 1-20, 

    Intelligence is not a term commonly used when plants are discussed. However, I believe that this is an omission based not on a true assessment of the ability of plants to compute complex aspects of their environment, but solely a reflection of a sessile lifestyle. This article, which is admittedly controversial, attempts to raise many issues that surround this area. To commence use of the term intelligence with regard to plant behaviour will lead to a better understanding of the complexity of plant signal transduction and the discrimination and sensitivity with which plants construct images of their environment, and raises critical questions concerning how plants compute responses at the whole‐plant level. Approaches to investigating learning and memory in plants will also be considered.

  • Hall, Matthew (2011), Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany, State University of New York Press, 

    Plants are people too? Not exactly, but in this work of philosophical botany Matthew Hall challenges readers to reconsider the moral standing of plants, arguing that they are other-than-human persons. Plants constitute the bulk of our visible biomass, underpin all natural ecosystems, and make life on Earth possible. Yet plants are considered passive and insensitive beings rightly placed outside moral consideration. As the human assault on nature continues, more ethical behavior toward plants is needed. Hall surveys Western, Eastern, Pagan, and Indigenous thought, as well as modern science and botanical history, for attitudes toward plants, noting the particular resources for plant personhood and those modes of thought which most exclude plants. The most hierarchical systems typically put plants at the bottom, but Hall finds much to support a more positive view of plants. Indeed, some Indigenous animisms actually recognize plants as relational, intelligent beings who are the appropriate recipients of care and respect. New scientific findings encourage this perspective, revealing that plants possess many of the capacities of sentience and mentality traditionally denied them.

  • Hall, Matthew (2019), "In Defence of Plant Personhood", Religions 10 (5): 317, 

    The philosopher Michael Marder has asserted that animist engagement with plants involves a projection of human purposes and goals leading to veneration. He has also argued that an extension of a categorical concept of personhood underpins my previous work on plant personhood. This paper draws on the growing scholarship of animist traditions following the work of Hallowell to reject Marder’s characterization of a naïve animist approach to plants. It draws on these insights from animist traditions to outline a relational plant personhood, which is fully realized only in grounded, situated relationships of care that seek to enable the flourishing of plants.