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  1. Models, Information and Meaning.Marc Artiga - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 82:101284.
    There has recently been an explosion of formal models of signalling, which have been developed to learn about different aspects of meaning. This paper discusses whether that success can also be used to provide an original naturalistic theory of meaning in terms of information or some related notion. In particular, it argues that, although these models can teach us a lot about different aspects of content, at the moment they fail to support the idea that meaning just is some kind (...)
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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.
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  • Models, Information and Meaning.Dr Marc Artiga - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 82:101284.
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  • Propositional Content in Signals.Brian Skyrms & Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:34-39.
    Propositional content arises from the practice of signaling with information transfer when a signaling process settles into some sort of a pattern, and eventually what we call meaning or propositional content crystallizes out. We give an evolutionary account of this process.
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  • Informational Theories of Content and Mental Representation.Marc Artiga & Miguel Ángel Sebastián - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3):613-627.
    Informational theories of semantic content have been recently gaining prominence in the debate on the notion of mental representation. In this paper we examine new-wave informational theories which have a special focus on cognitive science. In particular, we argue that these theories face four important difficulties: they do not fully solve the problem of error, fall prey to the wrong distality attribution problem, have serious difficulties accounting for ambiguous and redundant representations and fail to deliver a metasemantic theory of representation. (...)
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  • Can Informational Theories Account for Metarepresentation?Miguel Ángel Sebastián & Marc Artiga - 2020 - Topoi 39 (1):81-94.
    In this essay we discuss recent attempts to analyse the notion of representation, as it is employed in cognitive science, in purely informational terms. In particular, we argue that recent informational theories cannot accommodate the existence of metarepresentations. Since metarepresentations play a central role in the explanation of many cognitive abilities, this is a serious shortcoming of these proposals.
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  • The Semantics Latent in Shannon Information.M. C. Isaac Alistair - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (1):103-125.
    The lore is that standard information theory provides an analysis of information quantity, but not of information content. I argue this lore is incorrect, and there is an adequate informational semantics latent in standard theory. The roots of this notion of content can be traced to the secret parallel development of an information theory equivalent to Shannon’s by Turing at Bletchley Park, and it has been suggested independently in recent work by Skyrms and Bullinaria and Levy. This paper explicitly articulates (...)
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  • Content in Simple Signalling Systems.Nicholas Shea, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Rosa Cao - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1009-1035.
    Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models involving interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that are needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content (...)
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  • Shannon + Friston = Content: Intentionality in Predictive Signaling Systems.Carrie Figdor - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    What is the content of a mental state? This question poses the problem of intentionality: to explain how mental states can be about other things, where being about them is understood as representing them. A framework that integrates predictive coding and signaling systems theories of cognitive processing offers a new perspective on intentionality. On this view, at least some mental states are evaluations, which differ in function, operation, and normativity from representations. A complete naturalistic theory of intentionality must account for (...)
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  • Greatest Surprise Reduction Semantics: An Information Theoretic Solution to Misrepresentation and Disjunction.D. E. Weissglass - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2185-2205.
    Causal theories of content, a popular family of approaches to defining the content of mental states, commonly run afoul of two related and serious problems that prevent them from providing an adequate theory of mental content—the misrepresentation problem and the disjunction problem. In this paper, I present a causal theory of content, built on information theoretic tools, that solves these problems and provides a viable model of mental content. This is the greatest surprise reduction theory of content, which identifies the (...)
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  • Es Pot Naturalitzar la Intencionalitat?Marc Artiga - 2016 - Quaderns de Filosofia 3 (2).
    Intentionality is a central feature of our understanding of the world. We daily attribute intentional states (like beliefs, desires or perceptual states) to explain the behavior of other agents, and many theories appeal to them to understand more complex notions. Nonetheless, intentional states are puzzling entities. This article explains what intentionality is and why it is so important and problematic at the same time. Secondly, it examines various naturalistic theories, which seek to show that intentionality is compatible with a scientific (...)
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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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  • In the Beginning There Was Information?Peter Godfrey-Smith - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 80:101239.
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  • The Senses as Signalling Systems.Todd Ganson - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (3):519-531.
    A central goal of philosophy of perception is to uncover the nature of sensory capacities. Ideally, we would like an account that specifies what conditions need to be met in order for an organism to count as having the capacity to sense or perceive its environment. And on the assumption that sensory states are the kinds of things that can be accurate or inaccurate, a further goal of philosophy of perception is to identify the accuracy conditions for sensory states. In (...)
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  • Information as a Probabilistic Difference Maker.Andrea Scarantino - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):419-443.
    By virtue of what do alarm calls and facial expressions carry natural information? The answer I defend in this paper is that they carry natural information by virtue of changing the probabilities of various states of affairs, relative to background data. The Probabilistic Difference Maker Theory of natural information that I introduce here is inspired by Dretske's [1981] seminal analysis of natural information, but parts ways with it by eschewing the requirements that information transmission must be nomically underwritten, mind-independent, and (...)
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  • Teleosemantic Modeling of Cognitive Representations.Marc Artiga - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (4):483-505.
    Naturalistic theories of representation seek to specify the conditions that must be met for an entity to represent another entity. Although these approaches have been relatively successful in certain areas, such as communication theory or genetics, many doubt that they can be employed to naturalize complex cognitive representations. In this essay I identify some of the difficulties for developing a teleosemantic theory of cognitive representations and provide a strategy for accommodating them: to look into models of signaling in evolutionary game (...)
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  • Deception: A Functional Account.Marc Artiga & Cédric Paternotte - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (3):579-600.
    Deception has recently received a significant amount of attention. One of main reasons is that it lies at the intersection of various areas of research, such as the evolution of cooperation, animal communication, ethics or epistemology. This essay focuses on the biological approach to deception and argues that standard definitions put forward by most biologists and philosophers are inadequate. We provide a functional account of deception which solves the problems of extant accounts in virtue of two characteristics: deceptive states have (...)
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  • Ambiguous Signals, Partial Beliefs, and Propositional Content.Rafael Ventura - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2803-2820.
    As the content of propositional attitudes, propositions are usually taken to help explain the behavior of rational agents. However, a closer look at signaling games suggests otherwise: rational agents often acquire partial beliefs, and many of their signals are ambiguous. Signaling games also suggest that it is rational for agents to mix their behavior in response to partial beliefs and ambiguous signals. But as I show in this paper, propositions cannot help explain the mixing behavior of rational agents: to explain (...)
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