Do plants have minds?

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(2024-06-24, 09:04 PM)Brian Wrote: Computers process information.  Would you say they have a mind?  Do you think they conscious?  How could we possibly tell whether or not an information processing unit is sentient?  Biology doesn't account for the difference between sentient and non-sentient information processing.
Computers process symbols and data available from stored input.  They do not express themselves as mind does with the ability to change their environment through changing real-world probabilities.  The symbols and data are stripped of active meanings (All Shannon Info is) and do not reframe the output in terms of self-reference (unless program to simulate self-reference).  Mind in living things can act directly on meaning in their environment!!!  Mind can change real world probabilities using local intention! 
 
A computer or smart phone can return valuable symbol arrangements where agents can subsequently find meaning.  Self-reference is the default mode of living things and it takes extra willful bioinformation processing to avoid self-reference.  Plants know what to do.  New book knocks it out of the park.  C'mon folks - let's get with the scholarly trends.  I love the title -- The Light Eaters.  Computers don't pivot on the table to face the outlet.
Quote: “One of the big debates is whether or not there’s any form of intention with plants and whether you need intention for something to have intelligence,” Schlanger said. “But one could argue that it doesn’t even matter if you can find intention in plants. -- from book review in The NYT. 

Quote: “To read The Light Eaters is to be astounded by the complex behaviors of these ostensibly lower life-forms. Ms. Schlanger’s prose is precise yet loving….There are lots of gee-whiz moments here….Fertilize your brain with The Light Eaters and you’ll never look at your favorite, or least favorite, plants the same.”
— Wall Street Journal
  https://www.harpercollins.com/products/t...6248295458
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Somebody here wrote a detailed and unbiased review of The Light Eaters and gave the following conclusion.

https://slate.com/culture/2024/05/light-...gence.html
Quote:But one of the things we love most in plants is the enormous difference between them and us. The human looking to decompress from a rough day at the office certainly doesn’t take a walk in the woods because trees are like people. The strangeness of plants; their (apparent) stillness and slowness; their resilience; their ability to survive on air, water, and dirt; their capacity to transform garbage into food and desolation into beauty, all in the course of pursuing their own unfathomable business: These are the unsung miracles that surround us daily. At its best, The Light Eaters ushers those marvels onto center stage. These characteristics don’t need to be the result of “intelligence”—whatever that is—or any other trait or behavior or idea we’d like to see more of in our human compatriots. They may well be the product of forces so profoundly other that we’ll never entirely understand them, although it’s exciting to try. A window is always better than a mirror.
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I have thought a fair bit about consciousness in living things that are less and less like ourselves.

To me at least dogs, cats, and probably horses are conscious, together with other creatures at a similar level of development. Beyond that there seems to be something of a continuum, which is odd, because the question as to whether something is conscious feels as if it should have a definite answer, unless perhaps the creature is damaged.

One way to get a continuum is to propose that creatures such as termites (for example) have a consciousness which is primarily stored in what Rupert Sheldrake would call a morphic field. Creatures like termites (say) would share most of their consciousness in their morphic field, while for us most of our consciousness would be on-board, so to speak.

I guess since plants are living, their consciousness could be accommodated in this scheme.

Bacteria and fungi might also be conscious in this sense.

David
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(2024-07-03, 11:18 PM)David001 Wrote: probably horses are conscious

"Probably". Trolling level: grand master.
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(2024-07-03, 11:18 PM)David001 Wrote: probably horses are conscious


Are you being serious???!!! Probably??? Surprise
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(2024-07-03, 11:18 PM)David001 Wrote: I have thought a fair bit about consciousness in living things that are less and less like ourselves.

To me at least dogs, cats, and probably horses are conscious, together with other creatures at a similar level of development. Beyond that there seems to be something of a continuum, which is odd, because the question as to whether something is conscious feels as if it should have a definite answer, unless perhaps the creature is damaged.

One way to get a continuum is to propose that creatures such as termites (for example) have a consciousness which is primarily stored in what Rupert Sheldrake would call a morphic field. Creatures like termites (say) would share most of their consciousness in their morphic field, while for us most of our consciousness would be on-board, so to speak.

I guess since plants are living, their consciousness could be accommodated in this scheme.

Bacteria and fungi might also be conscious in this sense.

David

Heh, on the other side you have me wondering about the possibility that particles are conscious...at least Penrose wonders about the same thing and he has a Nobel...
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2024-07-04, 02:58 PM)Laird Wrote: "Probably". Trolling level: grand master.
(2024-07-04, 05:23 PM)Brian Wrote: Are you being serious???!!! Probably??? Surprise
Do I take it that you are both in favour of horse consciousness, or both against?

We both rode for a short while, and thus got some idea of what they are like. I'd say they were probably conscious.

David
(This post was last modified: 2024-07-04, 08:14 PM by David001.)
(2024-07-04, 08:13 PM)David001 Wrote: Do I take it that you are both in favour of horse consciousness, or both against?

We both rode for a short while, and thus got some idea of what they are like. I'd say they were probably conscious.

David

Curious as to what your criteria is?

Seems like horses do feel pain, having talked to a woman I know who rides frequently for years. They also feel a range of other emotions AFAIK?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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(2024-07-04, 08:13 PM)David001 Wrote: Do I take it that you are both in favour of horse consciousness, or both against?

We both rode for a short while, and thus got some idea of what they are like. I'd say they were probably conscious.

David

They are obviously conscious.  I don't understand how you could have any doubts at all.
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(2024-07-04, 06:09 PM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: Heh, on the other side you have me wondering about the possibility that particles are conscious...at least Penrose wonders about the same thing and he has a Nobel...

No - I'm not keen on that idea - particularly since QM demands that each type of particle (electrons, protons, etc) must be identical.

I am trying to account for a real phenomenon - all the things that small creatures achieve. I can't see any way of dividing these creatures from those we know are conscious - so consciousness must be a continuum, probably along the lines I have described. I can't understand why physicists talk in that way without at the very least discussing the problem.

David
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