Vegetal Philosophy (or Vegetal Thinking)

Thought was vegetal from its very beginnings. On the pages of his treatise On the Soul, Aristotle writes about the vegetable soul, which is responsible for the body’s growth and development. Plants were forgotten for many centuries afterwards: it is easy to overlook what merely “vegetates,” in other words, that leads a dull existence. Plants, however, appeared and still appear in metaphors found in the (extra)ordinary life of philosophy. For example, the philosophical concept of “substance” may simply be referred to as “ground”, and philosophical statements are “grounded in” something or “take root”, thinkers should not be “full of beans”, though they often are, so even this expression can be classified as canonical. Finally, philosophy itself, with its numerous branches (ontology, epistemology, or ethics) is “cultivated” until it bears the expected “fruit”. Even the concept of culture, which in our day has become extremely popular, originally meant the cultivation of plants or morals. We should restore the rightful place of plants in philosophy. Indeed, it is worth discussing and writing about thinking as vegetating: starting from the dictatorship of the taproot, through classical systematic classifications, to finally turn towards damp, creeping, rhizomatic neoplasms of thoughts.