Chauncey Maher
Associate Professor and Chair of Philosophy, Dickinson College
Publications Work in Progress Courses C.V.

Plant Minds (forthcoming from Routledge)

Plants actively respond to their surroundings in sophisticated ways that are good for them. Thus, they can seem intelligent. But the consensus among botanists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers is that plants don't have minds. The best argument for thinking they don't relies on the assumption that having a mind requires the ability to represent the world outside of oneself. In Plant Minds, after carefully presenting that argument, I consider the possibility that its main assumption is false. I defend the Enactivist proposal, according to which self-production and self-maintenance in a changing environment suffice for having a mind, suggesting that plants do have minds.

Illustrations by Jim Sias