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  1. Behavioural Deception and Formal Models of Communication.Gregory McWhirter - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (3):757-780.
    Having a satisfactory definition of behavioural deception is important for understanding several types of evolutionary questions. No definition offered in the literature so far is adequate on all fronts. After identifying characteristics that are important for a definition, a new definition of behavioural deception is offered. The new definition, like some other proposed attempts, relies on formal game-theoretic models of signalling. Unlike others, it incorporates explicit consideration of the population in which the potentially deceptive interactions occur. The general structure of (...)
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  • Conventional Semantic Meaning in Signalling Games with Conflicting Interests.Elliott O. Wagner - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):751-773.
    Lewis signalling games are often used to explain how it is possible for simple agents to develop systems of conventional semantic meaning. In these games, all players obtain identical payoffs in every outcome. This is an unrealistic payoff structure, but it is often employed because it is thought that semantic meaning will not emerge if interests conflict. Here it is shown that not only is conventional meaning possible when interests conflict, but it is the most likely outcome in a finite (...)
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  • Methodology in Biological Game Theory.S. M. Huttegger & K. J. S. Zollman - 2013 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 64 (3):637-658.
    Game theory has a prominent role in evolutionary biology, in particular in the ecological study of various phenomena ranging from conflict behaviour to altruism to signalling and beyond. The two central methodological tools in biological game theory are the concepts of Nash equilibrium and evolutionarily stable strategy. While both were inspired by a dynamic conception of evolution, these concepts are essentially static—they only show that a population is uninvadable, but not that a population is likely to evolve. In this article, (...)
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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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  • Propositional Content in Signalling Systems.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):493-512.
    Skyrms, building on the work of Dretske, has recently developed a novel information-theoretic account of propositional content in simple signalling systems. Information-theoretic accounts of content traditionally struggle to accommodate the possibility of misrepresentation, and I show that Skyrms’s account is no exception. I proceed to argue, however, that a modified version of Skyrms’s account can overcome this problem. On my proposed account, the propositional content of a signal is determined not by the information that it actually carries, but by the (...)
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  • Communication Without the Cooperative Principle: A Signaling Experiment.Hannah Rubin, Justin Bruner, Cailin O'Connor & Simon Huttegger - unknown
    According to Grice's `Cooperative Principle', human communicators are involved in a cooperative endeavor. The speaker attempts to make herself understood and the listener, in turn, assumes that the speaker is trying to maximize the ease and effectiveness of communication. While pragmatists recognize that people do not always behave in such a way, the Cooperative Principle is generally assumed to hold. However, it is often the case that the interests of speakers and listeners diverge, at least to some degree. Communication can (...)
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  • David Lewis in the Lab: Experimental Results on the Emergence of Meaning.Justin Bruner, Cailin O’Connor, Hannah Rubin & Simon M. Huttegger - 2018 - Synthese 195 (2):603-621.
    In this paper we use an experimental approach to investigate how linguistic conventions can emerge in a society without explicit agreement. As a starting point we consider the signaling game introduced by Lewis. We find that in experimental settings, small groups can quickly develop conventions of signal meaning in these games. We also investigate versions of the game where the theoretical literature indicates that meaning will be less likely to arise—when there are more than two states for actors to transfer (...)
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  • Cheap Talk, Reinforcement Learning, and the Emergence of Cooperation.J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
    Cheap talk has often been thought incapable of supporting the emergence of cooperation because costless signals, easily faked, are unlikely to be reliable. I show how, in a social network model of cheap talk with reinforcement learning, cheap talk does enable the emergence of cooperation, provided that individuals also temporally discount the past. This establishes one mechanism that suffices for moving a population of initially uncooperative individuals to a state of mutually beneficial cooperation even in the absence of formal institutions.
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  • Experimental Economics for Philosophers.Hannah Rubin, Cailin O'Connor & Justin Bruner - unknown
    Recently, game theory and evolutionary game theory - mathematical frameworks from economics and biology designed to model and explain interactive behavior - have proved fruitful tools for philosophers in areas such as ethics, philosophy of language, social epistemology, and political philosophy. This methodological osmosis is part of a trend where philosophers have blurred disciplinary lines to import the best epistemic tools available. In this vein, experimental philosophers have drawn on practices from the social sciences, and especially from psychology, to expand (...)
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  • Inclusive Fitness and the Problem of Honest Communication.Justin P. Bruner & Hannah Rubin - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  • Finding Alternatives to Handicap Theory.Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2013 - Biological Theory 8 (2):127-132.
    The Handicap Principle represents a central theory in the biological understanding of signaling. This paper presents a number of alternative theories to the Handicap Principle and argues that some of these theories may provide a better explanation for the evolution and stability of honest communication.
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  • How Much Rationality Do We Need to Explain Conventions?Simon M. Huttegger - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (1):11-21.
    This article surveys the main philosophical and formal ideas revolving around language as being conventional from the perspective of game theory. For very basic situations, this leads to a coherent view of conventions that offers interesting insights. Although there exist many open problems, this article will argue by outlining partial solution attempts that there is no principled reason for not applying methods from game theory to them.
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