Are plants conscious? Here’s what the experts think

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Image: Ken Yokawa, et al.

Michael Marder

Ikerbasque Research Professor, Philosophy, University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz and author of Plant-Thinking: A Philosophy of Vegetal Life, among other works

Plants are definitely conscious, though in a different way than we, humans, are.

Heidi Appel

Professor, Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, whose research focuses on how plants recognize and respond to insect herbivores with chemical defenses

Are plants conscious? My view is that they are not, even though they are aware of many aspects of the environment in which they live. My answer is shaped by the common definitions of consciousness in the English language, which all include the concept of mind and self-awareness, in addition to being aware of one’s environment.


Richard Karban

Professor, Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis and author of Plant Sensing and Communication

The answer to this question depends entirely upon how you define consciousness. Most definitions include awareness of one’s environment. By this definition there can be little doubt that plants are conscious organisms. Other definitions require the operation of a person’s brain. Plants obviously fail to meet these requirement as they are not persons and lack brains.

Read full, original post: Are Plants Conscious?

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