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Animal Sentience: An Interdisciplinary Journal on Animal Feeling

Author Website

http://andylamey.com

Commentary Type

Open Commentary

Thread

Colin Klein and Andrew B. Barron, Insects have the capacity for subjective experience

Abstract

Klein & Barron’s analysis focuses on the capacity for any subjective experience at all. It does not seek to demonstrate that insects can experience pleasure and pain in particular. This would be something of which insects have not traditionally been thought capable. If further research were to demonstrate that one or more insect species turn out to be conscious, yet incapable of experiencing pleasure and pain, it would give rise to a philosophical question that ethicists have yet to answer: Would a creature that is conscious, but lacks the capacity to feel pain, have moral standing?

Author Biography

Andy Lamey is assistant teaching professor at the University of California, San Diego. He is completing a book, Duty and the Beast: Should We Eat Meat in the Name of Animal Rights? (Cambridge University Press). http://andylamey.com