Miguel Segundo-Ortin and Paco Calvo, Plant sentience? Between romanticism and denial: Science


Are plants sentient? Like other aspects of the cognitive potential of plants, this is a controversial issue, often driven by analogies and seldom supported on solid theoretical grounds. Sentience is understood in cognitive sciences as the capacity to feel. I suggest that because of plants’ evolved adaptations to morphological plasticity, sessile nature and ecological constraints, they are unlikely to have the requisite cognitive complexity for sentience.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Author Biography

Ricard Solé, ICREA research professor, Complex Systems Lab, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, does research on the evolutionary origins of complexity, including the emergence of language and cognition in natural, artificial and synthetic systems. He is co-editor of “Liquid Brains” in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B (2019). Website