Flowers and Honeybees

A Study of Morality In Nature


Can we discover morality in nature? Flowers and Honeybees extends the considerable scientific knowledge of flowers and honeybees through a philosophical discussion of the origins of morality in nature. Flowering plants and honeybees form a social group where each requires the other. They do not intentionally harm each other, both reason, and they do not compete for commonly required resources. They also could not be more different. Flowering plants are rooted in the ground and have no brains. Mobile honeybees can communicate the location of flower resources to other workers. We can learn from a million-year-old social relationship how morality can be constructed and maintained over time.

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Christopher Ketcham, Ph.D., is retired from the University of Houston Downtown where he taught risk management and ethics. Chris has published in The Journal of Animal Ethics, Space Policy Journal, Marcel Studies, Philosophical Inquiries, and Journal of the Philosophy of Life.
Preface: Introducing the Meadow

 1 The Question This Study Explores
 2 The Shape of This Study
 Cited References

1 Optimization, MEP, and Mutualism
 1 Introduction
 2 Optimization
 3 Maximum Entropy Production (MEP)
 4 Mutualism
 Cited References

2 Emergence of the Flower and Honeybee Mutualism and Flower and Honeybee Ontology and Morphology
 1 Introduction
 2 Evolution of the Flower Honeybee Mutualism
 3 Emergence
 4 Angiosperm Morphology
 5 Flower Morphology
 6 Honeybee Eusociality and Morphology
 7 The Moral Honeybee
 Cited References

3 Flower and Honeybee Epistemology and Behavior
 1 Introduction
 2 Angiosperm Epistemology and Behavior
 3 Plant Intelligence—a Philosophical Discussion
 4 Honeybee Epistemology and Behavior
 5 Consciousness in Flowers and Honeybees
 6 Moral Elegance
 Cited References

4 Epigenetics
 1 Epigenetics Defined
 2 Promise of Epigenetics
 3 Epigenetic Purposes
 4 General Implications of Epigenetics
 5 Implications of Epigenetics for Flowers and Honeybees
 Cited References

5 The Good and the Emergence of Morality in the Flower and Honeybee Mutualism
 1 Introduction
 2 Asymmetricity
 3 Responsibility
 4 Reciprocal Responsibility
 5 Up from Value
 6 Hospitality
 7 Pragmatic Naturalism
 8 Altruism
 9 Singer’s Requirements for Morality to Emerge Applied to Flowers and Honeybees
 10 Epigenetic Rules
 11 Naturalistic Fallacies and Naturalistic Facts
 12 Flower and Honeybee Oughts and Obligates
 13 Morality in Nature
 Cited References

6 Study Summary and a Critique of Maximization
 1 Study Summary
 2 A Brief and Preliminary Critique of Maximization
 Cited References
This is for lay and academic readers interested in plant and animal science, ethics, and the emergence of morality in nature.