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  1. Problems for Predictive Information.W. Scott Looney - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (3):1317-1329.
    Predictive information is a popular and promising family of information-based theories of biological communication. It is difficult to adjudicate between predictive information-based theories and influence-based theories of biological communication because the same acts seem to count as communicative on both theories. In this paper, I argue that predictive information theories and influence-based theories give importantly different descriptions of deceptive signals in some non-evolutionarily stable communicative systems by citing a novel case observed in nature. Moreover, predictive information gives a counter-intuitive description (...)
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  • On the Function of Self‐Deception.Vladimir Krstić - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (4):846-863.
    Self-deception makes best sense as a self-defensive mechanism by which the self protects itself from painful reality. Hence, we typically imagine self-deceivers as people who cause themselves to believe as true what they want to be true. Some self-deceivers, however, end up believing what they do not want to be true. Their behaviour can be explained on the hypothesis that the function of this behaviour is protecting the agent's perceived focal benefit at the cost of inflicting short-term harm, which is (...)
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  • Altruistic Deception.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:27-33.
    Altruistic deception (or the telling of “white lies”) is common in humans. Does it also exist in non-human animals? On some definitions of deception, altruistic deception is impossible by definition, whereas others make it too easy by counting useful-but-ambiguous information as deceptive. I argue for a definition that makes altruistic deception possible in principle without trivializing it. On my proposal, deception requires the strategic exploitation of a receiver by a sender, where “exploitation” implies that the sender elicits a behaviour in (...)
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  • Animal Deception and the Content of Signals.Don Fallis & Peter J. Lewis - 2021 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87:114-124.
    In cases of animal mimicry, the receiver of the signal learns the truth that he is either dealing with the real thing or with a mimic. Thus, despite being a prototypical example of animal deception, mimicry does not seem to qualify as deception on the traditional definition, since the receiver is not actually misled. We offer a new account of propositional content in sender-receiver games that explains how the receiver is misled by mimicry. We show that previous accounts of deception, (...)
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  • Toward a Formal Analysis of Deceptive Signaling.Don Fallis & Peter J. Lewis - 2019 - Synthese (6):2279-2303.
    Deception has long been an important topic in philosophy. However, the traditional analysis of the concept, which requires that a deceiver intentionally cause her victim to have a false belief, rules out the possibility of much deception in the animal kingdom. Cognitively unsophisticated species, such as fireflies and butterflies, have simply evolved to mislead potential predators and/or prey. To capture such cases of “functional deception,” several researchers Machiavellian intelligence II, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 112–143, 1997; Searcy and Nowicki, The (...)
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