Paul, Elizabeth S. and Mendl, Michael T. (2016) If insects have phenomenal consciousness, could they suffer?. Animal Sentience. 9(16)
Colin Klein and Andrew B. Barron, Insects have the capacity for subjective experience
Klein & Barron’s (K & B’s) suggestion that insects have the capacity for phenomenal consciousness is a refreshing and challenging departure from the cautious and agnostic stance that is taken by many researchers when considering this possibility. It is impossible to falsify the sceptic’s view that neural and behavioural parallels between humans and insects need not imply either similar conscious experience or even any phenomenal consciousness in insects at all. But if K & B are right, it is important to consider the possible contents of insect consciousness. Here we discuss whether affective consciousness, with its implications for potential suffering, might also be part of the simulated perceptual conscious world that K & B propose.