Can computational simulations of language emergence support a 'use' theory of meaning?

Philosophical Psychology 23 (1):59-74 (2010)
Some researchers claim that simulations of the emergence of communication in populations of autonomous agents provide empirical support for 'use' theories of meaning. I argue that this claim faces at least two major challenges. First, the empirical adequacy of such simulations must be justified, or the inference from simulation results to real-world linguistic behavior must be dropped; and second, the proffered simulations are in fact compatible with all of the competing theories of meaning surveyed, suggesting that theories of meaning are not the kinds of theories for which simulations provide evidence. To conclude, I consider what impact this has on the project of developing a naturalized theory of language
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DOI 10.1080/09515080903532258
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Hilary Putnam (1973). Meaning and Reference. Journal of Philosophy 70 (19):699-711.

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