A growing number of non-human animal species are being seriously considered as candidates for sentience, but plants are either forgotten or explicitly excluded from these debates. In our view, this is based on the belief that plant behavior is hardwired and inflexible and on an underestimation of the role of plant electrophysiology. We weigh such assumptions against the evidence to suggest that it is time to take seriously the hypothesis that plants, too, might be sentient. We hope this target article will serve as an invitation to investigate sentience in plants with the same rigor as in non-human animals.

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Author Biography

Miguel Segundo-Ortin is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Philosophy and member of the Minimal Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Murcia (Spain). His research is in the philosophy of the cognitive sciences, particularly embodied cognition, comparative cognition, and human agency. Website

Paco Calvo is Professor of Philosophy of Science and PI of the Minimal Intelligence Laboratory at the University of Murcia (Spain). His research is on (the philosophy of) plant neurobiology, ecological psychology and embodied cognitive science. He is co-author with Natalie Lawrence of Planta Sapiens (Little, Brown (UK); Norton (US)). Website





Article Thread

Segundo-Ortin, Miguel and Calvo, Paco (2023) Plant sentience? Between romanticism and denial: Science. Animal Sentience 33(1)

Harnad, Stevan (2023) Insentient “cognition”?. Animal Sentience 33(2)

Struik, Paul C (2023) Plants detect and adapt, but do not feel. Animal Sentience 33(3)

Gutfreund, Yoram (2023) Questions about sentience are not scientific but cultural. Animal Sentience 33(4)

Milburn, Josh (2023) Plant sentience and the case for ethical veganism. Animal Sentience 33(5)

Pessoa, Luiz (2023) What can plant science learn from animal nervous systems?. Animal Sentience 33(6)

Robinson, David G; Blatt, Michael R; Draguhn, Andreas; Taiz, Lincoln; and Mallatt, Jon (2023) Plants lack the functional neurotransmitters and signaling pathways required for sentience in animals. Animal Sentience 33(7)

Yilmaz, Özlem (2023) Stress: An adaptive problem common to plant and animal science. Animal Sentience 33(8)

Booth, David A (2023) Sentience: back to the science from the words. Animal Sentience 33(9)

Dung, Leonard (2023) From animal to plant sentience: Is there credible evidence?. Animal Sentience 33(10)

Brooks Pribac, Teya (2023) Language matters. Animal Sentience 33(11)

Carls-Diamante, Sidney (2023) Plant sentience: Bias and promise. Animal Sentience 33(12)

ten Cate, Carel (2023) Plant sentience: A hypothesis based on shaky premises. Animal Sentience 33(13)

Mastinu, Andrea (2023) Plant sentience: "feeling" or biological automatism?. Animal Sentience 33(14)

Mallatt, Jon; Robinson, David G; Blatt, Michael R; Draguhn, Andreas; and Taiz, Lincoln (2023) Plant sentience: The burden of proof. Animal Sentience 33(15)

Damasio, Antonio and Damasio, Hanna (2023) Sensing is a far cry from sentience. Animal Sentience 33(16)

Vallverdú, Jordi (2023) What if plants compute?. Animal Sentience 33(17)

Solé, Ricard V. (2023) Do plants have the cognitive complexity for sentience?. Animal Sentience 33(18)

Bennett, Tom (2023) Cognition is not evidence of sentience. Animal Sentience 33(19)

Birch, Jonathan (2023) Disentangling sentience from developmental plasticity. Animal Sentience 33(20)

Henning, Tilo and Mittelbach, Moritz (2023) Complex floral behavior of an angiosperm family. Animal Sentience 33(21)

Plebe, Alessio (2023) Plant sentience: Time scale matters. Animal Sentience 33(22)

Baciadonna, Luigi; Macri, Catherine; and Giurfa, Martin (2023) Associative learning: Unmet criterion for plant sentience. Animal Sentience 33(23)

Dolega, Krzysztof; Siekierski, Savannah; and Cleeremans, Axel (2023) Plant sentience: Getting to the roots of the problem. Animal Sentience 33(24)

Ivanchei, Ivan; Coucke, Nicolas; and Cleeremans, Axel (2023) Dissociation between conscious and unconscious processes as a criterion for sentience. Animal Sentience 33(25)

Broom, Donald M (2023) Limits to sentience. Animal Sentience 33(26)

Correia-Caeiro, Catia and Liebal, Katja (2023) Animal communication and sentience. Animal Sentience 33(27)

Burgos, José E and Castañeda, Giselle M. (2023) Crazier hypotheses: Panpsychism. Animal Sentience 33(28)

Tiffin, Helen (2023) Plant sentience: Not now, maybe later?. Animal Sentience 33(29)

Rouleau, Nicolas and Levin, Michael (2023) Multiple ways to implement and infer sentience. Animal Sentience 33(30)

Carranza-Pinedo, Víctor (2023) Appraising evidence for valence. Animal Sentience 33(31)

Calvo, Paco and Segundo-Ortin, Miguel (2023) Plant sentience revisited: Sifting through the thicket of perspectives. Animal Sentience 33(32)