Paco Calvo

Paco Calvo
University of Murcia | UM · Faculty of Philosophy

About

50
Publications
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886
Citations
Introduction
Head honcho of the MINT lab and a leading figure in the philosophy of plant behavior and signalling (née plant neurobiology). A philosopher concerned with issues at the intersection of plant biology and cognitive science, Paco wants to know: What, if anything, is there to say about the intelligence of plants? What is the best way to conceptualize plant intelligence? In the effort to answer these qestions, Paco has taken an especially eclectic route, collaborating with anybody who has something interesting to say about plant intelligence. Among these collaborators have been major figures in plant behavior and ecological psychology, philosophers of mind and biology, biologists, psychologists, neurobiologists, and roboticists.

Publications

Publications (50)
Article
Full-text available
Background Evidence suggests that plants can behave intelligently by exhibiting the ability to learn, make associations between environmental cues, engage in complex decisions about resource acquisition, memorize, and adapt in flexible ways. However, plant intelligence is a disputed concept in the scientific community. Reasons for lack of consensus...
Article
Full-text available
Plants offer a source of bioinspiration for soft robotics. Nevertheless, a gap remains in designing robots based on the fundamental principles of plant intelligence, rooted in a non-centralized, modular architecture and a highly plastic phenotype. We contend that a holistic approach to plant bioinspiration—one that draws more fully on the features...
Article
Full-text available
Before the upheaval brought about by phylogenetic classification, classical taxonomy separated living beings into two distinct kingdoms, animals and plants. Rooted in ‘naturalist’ cosmology, Western science has built its theoretical apparatus on this dichotomy mostly based on ancient Aristotelian ideas. Nowadays, despite the adoption of the Darwini...
Article
Full-text available
Unlike animal behavior, behavior in plants is traditionally assumed to be completely determined either genetically or environmentally. Under this assumption, plants are usually considered to be noncognitive organisms. This view nonetheless clashes with a growing body of empirical research that shows that many sophisticated cognitive capabilities tr...
Article
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An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
A critical oversight in the authors’ (Birch et al.) UAL framework arises in its stated basis in an “unlimited heredity” (UH) argument. Specifically, the foundational UH claim is that there is a possibility space constrained by the known properties of DNA, and that, within that space, a subset of specific “real” lineages arise. These lineages are ac...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract In this article we advance a cutting-edge methodology for the study of the dynamics of plant movements of nutation. Our approach, unlike customary kinematic analyses of shape, period, or amplitude, is based on three typical signatures of adaptively controlled processes and motions, as reported in the biological and behavioral dynamics lite...
Article
It is commonly assumed that plants do not possess consciousness. Since the criterion for this assumption is usually human consciousness this assumption represents a top down attitude. It is obvious that plants are not animals and using animal criteria of consciousness will lead to its rejection in plants. However using a bottom up evolutionary appr...
Article
Full-text available
It remains at best controversial to claim, non-figuratively, that plants are cognitive agents. At the same time, it is taken as trivially true that many (if not all) animals are cognitive agents, arguably through an implicit or explicit appeal to natural science. Yet, any given definition of cognition implicates at least some further processes, suc...
Article
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Plants are movers, but the nature of their movement differs dramatically from that of creatures that move their whole body from point A to point B. Plants grow to where they are going. Bio-inspired robotics sometimes emulates plants' growth-based movement; but growing is part of a broader system of movement guidance and control. We argue that ecolo...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this article we advance a cutting-edge methodology for the study of the dynamics of plant movements of nutation. Our approach, unlike customary kinematic analyses of shape, period, or amplitude, is based on three typical signatures of adaptively controlled processes and motions, as reported in the biological and behavioral dynamics literature: h...
Article
Hypotheses: The drive to survive is a biological universal. Intelligent behaviour is usually recognised when individual organisms including plants, in the face of fiercely competitive or adverse, real world circumstances, change their behaviour to improve their probability of survival. Scope: This article explains the potential relationship of i...
Article
According to F. Adams [this journal, vol. 68, 2018] cognition cannot be realized in plants or bacteria. In his view, plants and bacteria respond to the here-and-now in a hardwired, inflexible manner, and are therefore incapable of cognitive activity. This article takes issue with the pursuit of plant cognition from the perspective of an empirically...
Book
Full-text available
This book assembles recent research on memory and learning in plants. Organisms that share a capability to store information about experiences in the past have an actively generated background resource on which they can compare and evaluate coming experiences in order to react faster or even better. This is an essential tool for all adaptation purp...
Chapter
In this chapter, we identify issues related to the terms behavior, intelligence, and cognition. We also point out problems with inconsistencies in the definitions of learning phenomena and whether plant intelligence needs to be interpreted in cognitive terms. As an alternative to the cognitive model of plant intelligence, we encourage researchers t...
Article
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Article
Feelings in humans are mental states representing groups of physiological functions that usually have defined behavioural purposes. Feelings, being evolutionarily ancient, are thought to be coordinated in the brain stem of animals. One function of the brain is to prioritise between competing mental states, and thus groups of physiological functions...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we account for the way plants respond to salient features of their environment under the free-energy principle for biological systems. Biological self-organization amounts to the minimization of surprise over time. We posit that any self-organizing system must embody a generative model whose predictions ensure that (expected) free e...
Preprint
Full-text available
In this report we explore the guidance of circumnutation of climbing bean stems under the light of general rho/tau theory, a theory that aims to explain how living organisms guide goal-directed movements ecologically. We present some preliminary results on the control of circumnutation by climbing beans, and explore the possibility that the power o...
Preprint
Full-text available
Feelings in humans are mental states representing groups of physiological functions that usually have defined behavioural objectives or purpose. Feelings are thought to be coordinated in the brain stem of animals and are evolutionarily ancient. One function of the brain is to prioritise between competing mental states, and thus groups of physiologi...
Article
In this article we present Ecological Augmented Reality (E-AR), an approach that questions the theoretical assumptions of mainstream Augmented Reality (AR). The development of AR systems to date presupposes an information-processing theory of perception that hinders the potential of the field. Generally, in AR devices, virtual symbolic information...
Article
Full-text available
In this article we consider the possibility that plants exhibit anticipatory behavior, a mark of intelligence. If plants are able to anticipate and respond accordingly to varying states of their surroundings, as opposed to merely responding online to environmental contingencies, then such capacity may be in principle testable, and subject to empiri...
Article
Full-text available
‘Plant neurobiology’ has emerged in recent years as a multidisciplinary endeavor carried out mainly by steady collaboration within the plant sciences. The field proposes a particular approach to the study of plant intelligence by putting forward an integrated view of plant signaling and adaptive behavior. Its objective is to account for the way pla...
Article
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What is minimal intelligence? Generally speaking, our understanding of intelligence has to do with sets of biological functions of organisms that exhibit a degree of flexibility against contingencies in their environment-induced behavioral repertoire. In principle, sensory perception, sensory-motor coordination, basic forms of learning and memory,...
Article
In this chapter, we examine marginal cases of systematicity in the behavior of minimally cognitive agents like plants and insects. Our intention is to provide in the context of such simple agents a basis for understanding systematicity in more sophisticated kinds of linguistically mediated cognition. To do so, we adopt a neo-Gibsonian perspective i...
Book
In 1988, Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn challenged connectionist theorists to explain the systematicity of cognition. In a highly influential critical analysis of connectionism, they argued that connectionist explanations, at best, can only inform us about details of the neural substrate; explanations at the cognitive level must be classical insofa...
Book
In 1988, Jerry Fodor and Zenon Pylyshyn challenged connectionist theorists to explain the systematicity of cognition. In a highly influential critical analysis of connectionism, they argued that connectionist explanations, at best, can only inform us about details of the neural substrate; explanations at the cognitive level must be classical insofa...
Chapter
Contemporary philosophers inherit an anti-psychologistic tradition. The central figures in the early history of both the continental and analytic movements opposed what they saw as the encroachment of psychologists and their fellow travelers on the territory of philosophers (see Kusch 1995 and Dummett 1993).† Most prominently, both Frege and Husser...
Chapter
Contemporary philosophers inherit an anti-psychologistic tradition. The central figures in the early history of both the continental and analytic movements opposed what they saw as the encroachment of psychologists and their fellow travelers on the territory of philosophers (see Kusch 1995 and Dummett 1993). Most prominently, both Frege and Husserl...
Chapter
I propose to study the integration of contemporary scientific knowledge in cognitive neuroscience and plant neurobiology in order to assess the Unity of Science hypothesis. Oppenheim and Putnam (Unity of science as a working hypothesis. In: Feigl H, Maxwell G, Scriven M (eds) Minnesota studies in the philosophy of science. University of Minnesota P...
Article
Some empirical evidence in the artificial language acquisition literature has been taken to suggest that statistical learning mechanisms are insufficient for extracting structural information from an artificial language. According to the more than one mechanism (MOM) hypothesis, at least two mechanisms are required in order to acquire language from...
Article
Contemporary literature distinguishes two ways to defend the claim that cognition is a matter of representations: first, cognition involves representation-hungry tasks; second, cognition involves a complex form of informational covariation between subcomponents of a system with an adaptive function. Each of these conceptions involves a different no...
Article
We argue that Anderson's "massive redeployment hypothesis" (MRH) needs further development in several directions. First, a thoroughgoing criticism of the several "embodied cognition" alternatives is required. Second, the course between the Scylla of full holism and the Charybdis of structural-functional modularism must be plotted more distinctly. T...
Article
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To what extent can plants be considered cognitive from the perspective of embodied cognition? Cognition is interpreted very broadly within embodied cognition, and the current evidence for plant intelligence might find an important theoretical background here. However, embodied cognition does stress the presence of animal-like perception-action coup...
Chapter
Full-text available
We discuss the possibility and the meaning of the claim that plants are cognitive from the perspective of embodied cognition. In embodied cognition, the notion of cognition can be interpreted in a very broad way and applied to many free-moving creatures. In this chapter, we discuss whether and (if so) how this approach applies to intelligence in pl...
Chapter
Instead of opting for a hybrid view of human cognition, the possibility exists to reinterpret higher level, decoupled, cognition, in terms of post-cognitivist principles. This chapter views that cognitivism, both in its classical version and in its connectionist form, is unable to deal fully with the dichotomy regarding cognition that the games of...
Book
The Handbook of Cognitive Science provides an overview of recent developments in cognition research, relying upon non-classical approaches. Cognition is explained as the continuous interplay between brain, body, and environment, without relying on classical notions of computations and representation to explain cognition. The handbook serves as a va...
Article
An asymmetry between the demands at the computational and algorithmic levels of description furnishes the illusion that the abstract profile at the computational level can be multiply realized, and that something is actually being shared at the algorithmic one. A disembodied rendering of the situation lays the stress upon the different ways in whic...
Article
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How do we characterize the computational challenges facing a control system as it controls the behavior of an agent? Part of the answer to this question depends on how we understand the capacities of the agent's body. These capacities, along with the relevant features of the social and physical environment in which it is embedded, serve as the para...

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