Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-544b6db54f-lmg95 Total loading time: 0.191 Render date: 2021-10-21T15:28:56.263Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Article contents

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A BEE?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 January 2017

Get access

Abstract

Do bees have feelings? What would that mean? And if they do have feelings, how should we treat them? Do we have a moral obligation towards insects? A short commentary on M. Bateson, S. Desire, S. E. Gartside, and G. A. Wright, ‘Agitated Honeybees Exhibit Pessimistic Cognitive Biases’, Current Biology 21.12 (2011), 1070–3.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Institute of Philosophy 2017 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

1 This article is adapted from an informal blog post written by the author, Brian D. Earp, with the same title, originally published on 19 June 2011 at the Practical Ethics website, hosted by the University of Oxford Faculty of Philosophy. The original post can be accessed here: <http://blog.practicalethics.ox.ac.uk/2011/06/what-is-it-like-to-be-a-bee/>.

2 Bateson, M., Desire, S., Gartside, S. E., and Wright, G. A., ‘Agitated Honeybees Exhibit Pessimistic Cognitive Biases’, Current Biology 21.12 (2011), 1070–3CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed.

3 Keim, B., ‘Honeybees Might Have Emotions’, Wired Science (17 June 2011)Google Scholar, <http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/06/honeybee-pessimism/>.

4 I'm alluding, of course, to Nagel, T., ‘What Is It Like To Be a Bat?’, The Philosophical Review 83 (1974), 435–50CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

5 E.g. Singer, P., Animal Liberation (New York: Random House 1995)Google Scholar.

6 For a nice introduction, see Tully, T., ‘Pavlov's Dogs’, Current Biology 13.4 (2003), R117R119 CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

7 For further discussion of the different ‘levels’ of analysis at which different subjective experiences can be described and understood (with an emphasis on romantic love), see, e.g., Savulescu, J., and Earp, B. D., ‘Neuroreductionism about Sex and Love’, Think: A Journal of the Royal Institute of Philosophy 13.38 (2014), 712 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; Earp, B. D., Sandberg, A. and Savulescu, J., ‘The Medicalization of Love: Response to Critics’, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 25.4 (2016), 759–71CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

8 For further discussion, see: Earp, B. D., ‘An Anti-Anti-Functionalist Account of Consciousness’, Annales Philosophici 4.1 (2012), 615 Google Scholar; Earp, B. D., ‘I Can't Get No (Epistemic) Satisfaction: Why the Hard Problem of Consciousness Entails a Hard Problem of Explanation’, Dialogues in Philosophy, Mental and Neuro Sciences 5.1 (2012), 1420 Google Scholar; Earp, B. D., ‘Does Rationality + Consciousness = Free Will?’, Journal of Consciousness Studies 20.1–2 (2013), 248–53Google Scholar.

9 See reference at note 2, at page 1072.

10 Horvath, K., Angeletti, D., Nascetti, G. and Carere, C., ‘Invertebrate Welfare: An Overlooked Issue’, Annali dell'Istituto Superiore di Sanità 49.1 (2013), 917 Google Scholar, at p. 9.

11 For further scholarly discussion of some of the ideas presented in this article, see, e.g., Mendl, M., Paul, E. S. and Chittka, L., ‘Animal Behaviour: Emotion in Invertebrates?’, Current Biology 21.12 (2013), R463R465 CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed; Crook, R. A., ‘The Welfare of Invertebrate Animals in Research: Can Science's Next Generation Improve their Lot?’, Journal of Postdoctoral Research 1.2 (2013), 120 Google Scholar.

Send article to Kindle

To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A BEE?
Available formats
×

Send article to Dropbox

To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A BEE?
Available formats
×

Send article to Google Drive

To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A BEE?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *