If insects have phenomenal consciousness, could they suffer?

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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number128
Number of pages5
JournalAnimal Sentience
Issue number9
Early online date26 Aug 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2016

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