If you were interested in my last blog post on plant learning and memory, have a read of this article I wrote on the topic for Aeon Magazine, which was published today. I didn’t choose the title (I think “mind” has popular connotations related to consciousness that I would want to avoid) but the body of the essay and the subsequent discussion (a comments section that actually opts for reflection and reasoned dialogue!) get at some important issues in thinking about how to theorise plant learning.
Stay tuned for the next post, looking at problems with the “Secret life of plants” phenomenon and how we anthropomorphise plants.
“To make effective progress, we need to pay careful attention to plant mechanisms. We need to be clear about when, how and why we are using metaphor. We need to be precise about our theoretical claims. And where the evidence points in a direction, even when it is away from common consensus, we need to boldly follow where it leads. These research programmes are still in their infancy, but they will no doubt continue to lead to new discoveries that challenge and expand human perspectives on plants, blurring some of the traditional boundaries that separated the plant and animal realms.”