We Should Move on from Signalling-Based Analyses of Biological Deception

Erkenntnis:1-21 (forthcoming)
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This paper argues that extant signalling-based analyses cannot explain a range of cases of biological (and psychological) deception, such as those in which the deceiver does not send a signal at all, but that Artiga and Paternotte’s (Philos Stud 175:579–600, 2018) functional and my (Krstić in The analysis of self-deception: rehabilitating the traditionalist account. PhD Dissertation, University of Auckland, 2018: §3; Krstić and Saville in Australas J Philos 97:830–835, 2019) manipulativist analyses can. Therefore, the latter views should be given preference. And because we still do not have a satisfactory definition of manipulation, the functional analysis, according to which a state is deceptive iff its function is to mislead and it misleads, is currently our best theory of deception. This is not to argue that the signalling-based analyses have no value but only that they should not be used in general analyses of biological deception. We need to move on to some other interesting issues.



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Vladimir Krstic
United Arab Emirates University

Citations of this work

A Functional Analysis of Human Deception.Vladimir Krstić - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-19.

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References found in this work

Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information.Brian Skyrms - 2010 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Lewis - 1969 - Synthese 26 (1):153-157.
Propositional Content in Signalling Systems.Jonathan Birch - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):493-512.
Content in Simple Signalling Systems.Nicholas Shea, Peter Godfrey-Smith & Rosa Cao - 2018 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 69 (4):1009-1035.

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