Event 13th May: PLANT BEHAVIOUR AND INTELLIGENCE: METAPHOR & CONCEPTUAL CHANGE

Hope you’ve all had a nice weekend and Mothers’ Day!

This week we’re usual time, usual place: Napier 210, doors @ 7pm. Laura Ruggles is presenting this week on some of her awesome research. She is a current PhD candidate in philosophy here at Adelaide and some of you may remember her as our former Philosophy Club president.

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PLANT BEHAVIOUR AND INTELLIGENCE: ANTHROPOCENTRIC METAPHORS OR A CALL FOR CONCEPTUAL CHANGE (OR BOTH!)?

In the last decade or so there have been an increasing number of botanists, plant physiologists, philosophers and science communicators questioning the traditional conceptualisation of plants as passive, simple and reflexive organisms. Increasingly it is common to hear theorists use concepts like plant intelligence, cognition, perception, communication, memory and behaviour. Regularly theorists discuss what plants do as though they are agentive organisms with goals and desires that take action to fulfil these aims. In response, there has been a push-back from other scientists and philosophers, arguing that these ‘anthropomorphic metaphors’ are not helpful and lead people to misunderstand what is actually going on with plants.

In this talk I want to explore the nature and function of such terminology in the plant sciences. To the extent that such talk is metaphorical, how useful are these kinds of analogies and in what ways do they mislead us? To the extent that these claims are intended to be taken literally and not metaphorically, what do authors mean when they use these concepts and how could such concepts whose application has traditionally been restricted to the human and other animal domains possibly make any sense when applied to plants?

http://phytophilosophy.com/

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Thanks, and I’ll see you all Wednesday night! 🙂

Robert Farquharson

Plant inside bulb

One thought on “Event 13th May: PLANT BEHAVIOUR AND INTELLIGENCE: METAPHOR & CONCEPTUAL CHANGE

  1. Reblogged this on Phytophilosophy and commented:
    Hi phytophilosophers 🙂 Given my increased teaching and other responsibilities this semester I unfortunately haven’t had a lot of time recently for this blog! I will be back writing next semester, but in the meantime, if any of you are in Adelaide and enjoy thinking about plants and philosophy, feel free to come along this Wednesday evening to my talk on the topic of metaphor use and conceptual reform in the plant sciences. All welcome – there are drinks and nibbles, doors at 7pm, talk starts about 7.30pm.

    Like

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