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Enjoyed this very much. Plants, like us, are alive, and, like us, act upon and are acted upon by their environment. My intuition is that they are indeed ‘intelligent,’ that is, that plants, in varying degrees, are ‘aware’ and ‘purposeful’ in ways that are both similar to and different from our own. They may be attuned to different aspects of the world than we are, the world likely feels and looks different to them than it does to us, but it must nevertheless be a form of ‘being’ comprising some ‘subjective’ content, an ‘experience’ that may or may not be ‘reflective’ ( — ‘reflective’ in the Sartrean sense, in the sense that a conceptual (if not hard and fast) distinction, even in human experience, can be made between ‘pre-reflective’ and ‘reflective’ states of awareness). All of this is of course supposition on my part, but on this issue that is the direction in which my thinking inclines.

The Most Revolutionary Act

In the Mind of Plants

Jacques Mitsch (2009)

Film Review

This documentary is about scientists who study plant intelligence. When this documentary was first released in six years ago, the notion that plants were intelligent was still extremely controversial. As you will note from the film, nearly all the research into plant intelligence occurs outside the US.

The impetus to study plant intelligence came from the 2002 discovery that rice has nearly twice as many genes (50,000) as human beings (26,000). Most scientists agree that species with more genes are more evolved. When it comes to adaptation and cooperation, there’s really no question that rice plants are more advanced than people.

The University of Bonn is the foremost center for the investigation of plant intelligence. While there are many different definitions of intelligence, the criteria used by Bonn scientists include the ability to assess and react to the environment, the…

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