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


Plants, like animals, display remarkable developmental plasticity, inviting the metaphorical use of terms like “decision” and “choice”. In the animal case, this is not taken to be evidence of sentience, because sentience is a complex product of development, not something that guides it. We should apply the same standards when evaluating the evidence in plants. It is hard to overstate the contrast with the case of invertebrates such as octopuses, where pain markers that were originally developed for use in mammals have been clearly demonstrated and plausible neural substrates for sentience have been identified.

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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

Jonathan Birch, Professor, LSE, is the Principal Investigator on the Foundations of Animal Sentience project. Website