In his recent work, David DeGrazia (2020) explores the possibility of insect sentience, focusing on bees as a case study. He advances a novel evolutionary approach, arguing that, from an evolutionary perspective, it’s more likely that bees are sentient than insentient., insofar as bees (allegedly) would have a selective advantage if they are motivated—in the form of feeling—to achieve their aims. His argument assumes two questionable claims: (1) if X is a selective advantage for an organism, then the organism likely has X, and (2) conscious creatures would have a selective advantage if they are sentient. I challenge both claims, and consequently call into question DeGrazia’s claim that we have an evolutionary-based reason to attribute sentience to bees (and other insects).
Abbate, Cheryl E.
"What it’s like, or not like, to Bee,"
Between the Species:
1, Article 1.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/bts/vol26/iss1/1