Plants as Persons: A Philosophical Botany
Plants are people too? No, but in this work of philosophical botany Matthew Hall challenges readers to reconsider the moral standing of plants, arguing that they are other-than-human persons. Plants constitute the bulk of our visible biomass, underpin all natural ecosystems, and make life on Earth possible. Yet plants are considered passive and insensitive beings rightly placed outside moral consideration. As the human assault on nature continues, more ethical behavior toward plants is needed. Hall surveys Western, Eastern, Pagan, and Indigenous thought as well as modern science for attitudes toward plants, noting the particular resources for plant personhood and those modes of thought which most exclude plants. The most hierarchical systems typically put plants at the bottom, but Hall finds much to support a more positive view of plants. Indeed, some indigenous animisms actually recognize plants as relational, intelligent beings who are the appropriate recipeints of care and respect. New scientific findings encourage this perspective, revealing that plants possess many of the capacities of sentience and mentality traditionally denied them.
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1 THE ROOTS OF DISREGARD
2 DOGMA AND DOMINATION
3 PASSIVE PLANTS IN CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS
4 DEALING WITH SENTIENCE AND VIOLENCE IN HINDU JAINAND BUDDHIST TEXTS
5 INDIGENOUS ANIMISMSPLANT PERSONS AND RESPECTFUL ACTION
6 PAGANS PLANTSAND PERSONHOOD
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Acaranga Sutra active ahimsa animist anthropocentric Aristotelian Aristotle Aristotle’s Augustine autonomy auxin awareness Bacon Bais et basis behavior Bhagavadgītā Bhavachakra biblical botanical Buddhist Callicott 1997 Chapter Christian clear communication connection contemporary cultures Darwin demonstrate Descartes describes dialogue domination Earth ecological Empedocles environment environmental ethical exclusion existence faculties flourishing fruit Genesis Greek growth harm Harvey heterarchical hierarchy Hindu human-plant relationships humans and plants Ibid idea Indigenous Indigenous ecologies intelligence interactions Jain Jainism Kalevala killing kinship Kohák Mahābhārata Mahavira Moltmann moral consideration movement natural world Neidjie nonviolence notion Ojibwa ontological other-than-human pagan passage personhood philosophy plant habitats plant kingdom plant persons plant species Plantarum plants and animals plants and human plants as passive Plato Pliny Plumwood possess recognition of plants recognized regarded relationships with plants response restoration roots sacred seed sensation sentient shared soul texts Theophrastus Timaeus tion tradition trees Trewavas understanding Western worldview Yanyuwa zoocentric