In this paper, Matthew Hall defends his understand of plant personhood based in animist traditions. Rather than using “humans” as the model, Hall wants you to recognize plants as living beings with their own personhood based on kinship and relationships.
He argues that plant personhood is not a projection of human qualities onto plants, as Michael Marder acuses, but a relational concept that emerges from being “with” plants and enabling kin to flourish.
Hall challenges the view of Marder–who claims that plants are so different from humans that they cannot be called persons or subjects–instead making a clear argument as to why Marder’s approach does not respect the diversity and complexity of plant life. In Marder trying to respect plants, according to Hall, he fails to acknowledge the ethical implications of plant thinking.
Going through this paper, I now understand how Hall sees conveying personhood to plants as a way of honoring the dignity and value of plants and of fostering a more harmonious and sustainable relationship with the natural world.
Topics Covered about Plant Personhood
- Animism definitions of personhood
- Complexity of plant life
- What does it mean to create relationships
- How do you recognize personhood
Discover Hall’s recognition of plant personhood:
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View the paper here
Huckins, Grace. (October 16,2023). Minds of machines: The great AI consciousness conundrum. MIT Technology Review. Accessed October 27, 2023.
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