Monday, December 11, 2017

Plant Minds: A Philosophical Defense (NDPR review)

Plant Minds: A Philosophical Defense
// Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

Chauncey Maher, Plant Minds: A Philosophical Defense, Routledge, 2017, 131 pp., $70.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781138739192.
Reviewed by Colin Allen, University of Pittsburgh

What do you know about plants? You might not be surprised to hear that plants account for much more of the planet's biomass than animals -- hundreds of times more, in some estimates. You may, however, be surprised to learn that the number of plant species is relatively small compared to the number of animal species. It is an interesting question why plants have not diversified as much as animals have, but perhaps their immobility accounts for it. Nevertheless, with somewhere in the range of 300,000 to 400,000 species (estimates vary widely), there is plenty enough diversity among plants to yield some very interesting adaptations, from communication to carnivory.

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