On Bees and Humans: Phenomenological Explorations of Hearing Sounds, Voices, and Speech in Aristotle

Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (2):337-350 (2013)
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This paper proposes a solution to the apparent contradiction between Aristotle’s positions concerning the bees’ ability to hear in the Metaphysics and in the History of Animals. It does so not by appealing to external emendations, but by disambiguating the Ancient Greek verb akouein into three meanings: hearing of sound, of voice and of speech. Such a differentiation shows that, according to Aristotle, bees do hear other bees’ intermittent buzzes as meaningful and interested calls for cooperation. This differentiation also hints toward the specificity of human communication and community.



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Ömer Aygün
Galatasaray University

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