Environmental Philosophy

Volume 5, Issue 2, Fall 2008

Species of Thought

Laura Geuy Akers
Pages 35-46

Lessons Learned from Yellowjackets

Interactions with yellowjackets offer opportunities to reflect on what it is to encounter radical alterity and the conditions that are necessary for the limited empathy such encounters afford us. Effort must be made to set aside automatic judgments, and neither simulation nor theorizing can be sufficient to give us reliable insights, but mindful attentiveness can at least help us attend to the possibilities of interaction and tentative interpretation.