Animal deception and the content of signals

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87 (C):114-124 (2021)
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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, and of propositional content, give incorrect results about whether certain signals are deceptive.



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Author Profiles

Don Fallis
Northeastern University
Peter J. Lewis
Dartmouth College

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References found in this work

Content in Simple Signalling Systems.Nicholas Shea, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Rosa Cao - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1009-1035.
The intent to deceive.Roderick M. Chisholm & Thomas D. Feehan - 1977 - Journal of Philosophy 74 (3):143-159.
A Defense of the Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm.Justin Klocksiem - 2012 - American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (4):285 – 300.
Lying, risk and accuracy.Sam Fox Krauss - 2017 - Analysis 77 (4):726-734.
Propositional Content in Signalling Systems.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):493-512.

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