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Thoughts

  • Neil H. Kessler
Chapter
Part of the AESS Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and Sciences Series book series (AESS)

Abstract

The capacity for thought underpins relational closeness, yet theorists swayed by human/nature dualisms tend to deny thoughts to most beings. They do so based on the assumption that minds are exclusively the product of material structures that only human-like animals have. But, with human/nature dualisms eliminated, one doesn’t need a human-like neurophysiology or even any particular physiology to have a mind. In exploring the Theory of Mind and the “mind-brain problem,” critiques of the origin of the mind in supervenience, multiple realizability, and especially emergence theories reveal materialist fault lines. For example, emergence is ultimately an undefinable term used to cover the gap between human/nature dualist suggestions that minds are qualitatively different from brains yet are materially rooted in human-like ones. When such dualist explanations are removed, and being-neutral criteria applied, it’s not only possible for plants to have minds, but to entertain the same possibility in “inanimate” beings.

Keywords

Theory of Mind Mind-brain problem Emergence Plant intelligence Plant neurobiology More-than-human cognition More-than-human consciousness Plant minds Criteria for more-than-human minds Criteria for more-than-human intelligence 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil H. Kessler
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Natural Resources and the EnvironmentUniversity of New HampshireDurhamUSA

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