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David Sloan Wilson [53]Deirdre Wilson [33]David Wilson [21]David B. Wilson [17]
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Deirdre Wilson
University College London
Donald Wilson
Kansas State University
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  1. Relevance: Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1986 - Oxford: Blackwell.
     
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  2.  63
    Relevance: Communication and Cognition.D. Sperber & D. Wilson - 1995 - Blackwell.
    This revised edition includes a new Preface outlining developments in Relevance Theory since 1986, discussing the more serious criticisms of the theory, and ...
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  3. Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior.Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson - 1998 - Harvard University Press.
    The authors demonstrate that unselfish behavior is in fact an important feature of both biological and human nature. Their book provides a panoramic view of altruism throughout the animal kingdom--from self-sacrificing parasites to the human capacity for selflessness--even as it explains the evolutionary sense of such behavior.
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  4. Meaning and Relevance.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    When people speak, their words never fully encode what they mean, and the context is always compatible with a variety of interpretations. How can comprehension ever be achieved? Wilson and Sperber argue that comprehension is an inference process guided by precise expectations of relevance. What are the relations between the linguistically encoded meanings studied in semantics and the thoughts that humans are capable of entertaining and conveying? How should we analyse literal meaning, approximations, metaphors and ironies? Is the ability to (...)
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  5. Epistemic Vigilance.Dan Sperber, Fabrice Clément, Christophe Heintz, Olivier Mascaro, Hugo Mercier, Gloria Origgi & Deirdre Wilson - 2010 - Mind and Language 25 (4):359-393.
    Humans massively depend on communication with others, but this leaves them open to the risk of being accidentally or intentionally misinformed. To ensure that, despite this risk, communication remains advantageous, humans have, we claim, a suite of cognitive mechanisms for epistemic vigilance. Here we outline this claim and consider some of the ways in which epistemic vigilance works in mental and social life by surveying issues, research and theories in different domains of philosophy, linguistics, cognitive psychology and the social sciences.
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  6. Relevance Theory.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - In L. Horn & G. Ward (eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell. pp. 607-632.
  7. Pragmatics, Modularity and Mind‐Reading.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2002 - Mind and Language 17 (1-2):3–23.
    The central problem for pragmatics is that sentence meaning vastly underdetermines speaker’s meaning. The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning is bridged. This paper defends the broadly Gricean view that pragmatic interpretation is ultimately an exercise in mind-reading, involving the inferential attribution of intentions. We argue, however, that the interpretation process does not simply consist in applying general mind-reading abilities to a particular (communicative) domain. Rather, it involves a dedicated comprehension module, (...)
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  8. Reintroducing Group Selection to the Human Behavioral Sciences.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):585-608.
    In both biology and the human sciences, social groups are sometimes treated as adaptive units whose organization cannot be reduced to individual interactions. This group-level view is opposed by a more individualistic one that treats social organization as a byproduct of self-interest. According to biologists, group-level adaptations can evolve only by a process of natural selection at the group level. Most biologists rejected group selection as an important evolutionary force during the 1960s and 1970s but a positive literature began to (...)
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  9. A Critical Review of Philosophical Work on the Units of Selection Problem.Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson - 1994 - Philosophy of Science 61 (4):534-555.
    The evolutionary problem of the units of selection has elicited a good deal of conceptual work from philosophers. We review this work to determine where the issues now stand.
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  10.  66
    Précis of Relevance: Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):697.
  11. Truthfulness and Relevance.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - Mind 111 (443):583-632.
    This paper questions the widespread view that verbal communication is governed by a maxim, norm or convention of truthfulness which applies at the level of what is literally meant, or what is said. Pragmatic frameworks based on this view must explain the frequent occurrence and acceptability of loose and figurative uses of language. We argue against existing explanations of these phenomena and provide an alternative account, based on the assumption that verbal communication is governed not by expectations of truthfulness but (...)
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  12. A Deflationary Account of Metaphor.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2008 - In Ray Gibbs (ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Metaphor and Thought. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 84-105.
    On the relevance-theoretic approach outlined in this paper, linguistic metaphors are not a natural kind, and ―metaphor‖ is not a theoretically important notion in the study of verbal communication. Metaphorical interpretations are arrived at in exactly the same way as literal, loose and hyperbolic interpretations: there is no mechanism specific to metaphors, and no interesting generalisation that applies only to them. In this paper, we defend this approach in detail by showing how the same inferential procedure applies to utterances at (...)
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  13. A Unitary Approach to Lexical Pragmatics: Relevance, Inference and Ad Hoc Concepts.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2007 - In Noel Burton-Roberts (ed.), Pragmatics. Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 3.
  14.  4
    Presuppositions and Non-Truth-Conditional Semantics.Deirdre Wilson - 1975 - Academic Press.
  15.  81
    Beyond Speaker’s Meaning.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2015 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 15 (2):117-149.
    Our main aim in this paper is to show that constructing an adequate theory of communication involves going beyond Grice’s notion of speaker’s meaning. After considering some of the difficulties raised by Grice’s three-clause definition of speaker’s meaning, we argue that the characterisation of ostensive communication introduced in relevance theory can provide a conceptually unified explanation of a much wider range of communicative acts than Grice was concerned with, including cases of both ‘showing that’ and ‘telling that’, and with both (...)
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  16. IX—Loose Talk.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1986 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 86 (1):153-172.
  17.  29
    Unto Others.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):681-684.
    It is a challenge to explain how evolutionary altruism can evolve by the process of natural selection, since altruists in a group will be less fit than the selfish individuals in the same group who receive benefits but do not make donations of their own. Darwin proposed a theory of group selection to solve this puzzle. Very simply, even though altruists are less fit than selfish individuals within any single group, groups of altruists are more fit than groups of selfish (...)
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  18. On the Relationship Between Evolutionary and Psychological Definitions of Altruism and Selfishness.David Sloan Wilson - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (1):61-68.
    I examine the relationship between evolutionary definitions of altruism that are based on fitness effects and psychological definitions that are based on the motives of the actor. I show that evolutionary altruism can be motivated by proximate mechanisms that are psychologically either altruistic or selfish. I also show that evolutionary definitions do rely upon motives as a metaphor in which the outcome of natural selection is compared to the decisions of a psychologically selfish (or altruistic) individual. Ignoring the precise nature (...)
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  19. Metaphor, Relevance and the 'Emergent Property' Issue.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):404–433.
    The interpretation of metaphorical utterances often results in the attribution of emergent properties, which are neither standardly associated with the individual constituents in isolation nor derivable by standard rules of semantic composition. An adequate pragmatic account of metaphor interpretation must explain how these properties are derived. Using the framework of relevance theory, we propose a wholly inferential account, and argue that the derivation of emergent properties involves no special interpretive mechanisms not required for the interpretation of ordinary, literal utterances.
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  20.  18
    Pragmatics.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1981 - Cognition 10 (1-3):281-286.
  21.  23
    Evolution for Everyone: How Darwin’s Theory Can Change the Way We Think About Our Lives.David Sloan Wilson - 2007 - Delacorte Press.
    What is the biological reason for gossip? For laughter? For the creation of art? Why do dogs have curly tails? What can microbes tell us about morality? These and many other questions are tackled by renowned evolutionist David Sloan Wilson in this witty and groundbreaking new book. With stories that entertain as much as they inform, Wilson outlines the basic principles of evolution and shows how, properly understood, they can illuminate the length and breadth of creation, from the origin of (...)
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  22.  13
    Unto Others.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):692-696.
    Altruism has both an evolutionary and a psychological meaning. As the term is used in evolutionary theory, a trait is deemed altruistic if it reduces the fitness of the actor and enhances the fitness of someone else. In its psychological sense, the thesis that we have altruistic ultimate motives asserts that we care about the welfare of others, not just as a means of enhancing our own well-being, but as an end in itself. In Unto Others (hereafter UO), we consider (...)
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  23. The Mapping Between the Mental and the Public Lexicon.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1998 - In Peter Carruthers & Jill Boucher (eds.), [Book Chapter]. Cambridge University Press. pp. 184-200.
    We argue that the presence of a word in an utterance serves as starting point for a relevance guided inferential process that results in the construction of a contextually appropriate sense. The linguistically encoded sense of a word does not serve as its default interpretation. The cases where the contextually appropriate sense happens to be identical to this linguistic sense have no particular theoretical significance. We explore some of the consequences of this view. One of these consequences is that there (...)
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  24.  81
    Linguistic Form and Relevance.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 1993 - Lingua 90:1-25.
    Our book Relevance (Sperber and Wilson 1986) treats utterance interpretation as a two-phase process: a modular decoding phase is seen as providing input to a central inferential phase in which a linguistically encoded logical form is contextually enriched and used to construct a hypothesis about the speaker's informative intention. Relevance was mainly concerned with the inferential phase of comprehension: we had to answer Fodor's challenge that while decoding processes are quite well understood, inferential processes are not only not understood, but (...)
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  25.  64
    Mood and the Analysis of Non-Declarative Sentences.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 1988 - In J. Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik & C. C. W. Taylor (eds.), Human Agency: Language, Duty, and Value. Stanford University Press. pp. 77--101.
    How are non-declarative sentences understood? How do they differ semantically from their declarative counterparts? Answers to these questions once made direct appeal to the notion of illocutionary force. When they proved unsatisfactory, the fault was diagnosed as a failure to distinguish properly between mood and force. For some years now, efforts have been under way to develop a satisfactory account of the semantics of mood. In this paper, we consider the current achievements and future prospects of the mood-based semantic programme.
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  26.  55
    Précis of Relevance: Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 2013 - In Maite Ezcurdia & Robert J. Stainton (eds.), The Semantics-Pragmatics Boundary in Philosophy. Broadview Press. pp. 220.
  27.  27
    Evolving the Future: Toward a Science of Intentional Change.David Sloan Wilson, Steven C. Hayes, Anthony Biglan & Dennis D. Embry - 2014 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37 (4):395-416.
    Humans possess great capacity for behavioral and cultural change, but our ability to manage change is still limited. This article has two major objectives: first, to sketch a basic science of intentional change centered on evolution; second, to provide examples of intentional behavioral and cultural change from the applied behavioral sciences, which are largely unknown to the basic sciences community.All species have evolved mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity that enable them to respond adaptively to their environments. Some mechanisms of phenotypic plasticity (...)
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  28.  22
    Metaphor, Relevance and the 'Emergent Property' Issue.Deirdre Wilson & Robyn Carston - 2006 - Mind and Language 21 (3):404-433.
    The interpretation of metaphorical utterances often results in the attribution of emergent properties, which are neither standardly associated with the individual constituents in isolation nor derivable by standard rules of semantic composition. An adequate pragmatic account of metaphor interpretation must explain how these properties are derived. Using the framework of relevance theory, we propose a wholly inferential account, and argue that the derivation of emergent properties involves no special interpretive mechanisms not required for the interpretation of ordinary, literal utterances.
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  29.  37
    Pathological Altruism.Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, Guruprasad Madhavan & David Sloan Wilson (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
  30.  7
    Beyond Belmont: Ensuring Respect for AI/AN Communities Through Tribal IRBs, Laws, and Policies.Sara Chandros Hull & David R. Wilson - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics 17 (7):60-62.
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  31. Summary Of: ‘Unto Others. The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior'.Elliott Sober & David Sloan Wilson - 2000 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 7 (1-2):185-206.
    The hypothesis of group selection fell victim to a seemingly devastating critique in 1960s evolutionary biology. In Unto Others (1998), we argue to the contrary, that group selection is a conceptually coherent and empirically well documented cause of evolution. We suggest, in addition, that it has been especially important in human evolution. In the second part of Unto Others, we consider the issue of psychological egoism and altruism -- do human beings have ultimate motives concerning the well-being of others? We (...)
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  32.  52
    What Can History Do for Bioethics?Duncan Wilson - 2013 - Bioethics 27 (4):215-223.
    This article details the relationship between history and bioethics. I argue that historians' reluctance to engage with bioethics rests on a misreading of the field as solely reducible to applied ethics, and overlooks previous enthusiasm for historical perspectives. I claim that seeing bioethics as its practitioners see it – as an interdisciplinary meeting ground – should encourage historians to collaborate in greater numbers. I conclude by outlining how bioethics might benefit from new histories of the field, and how historians can (...)
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  33. Fodor's Frame Problem and Relevance Theory (Reply to Chiappe & Kukla).Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1996 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 19 (3):530-532.
    Chiappe and Kukla argue that relevance theory fails to solve the frame problem as defined by Fodor. They are right. They are wrong, however, to take Fodor’s frame problem too seriously. Fodor’s concerns, on the other hand, even though they are wrongly framed, are worth addressing. We argue that Relevance thoery helps address them.
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  34.  77
    Species of Thought: A Comment on Evolutionary Epistemology.David Sloan Wilson - 1990 - Biology and Philosophy 5 (1):37-62.
    The primary outcome of natural selection is adaptation to an environment. The primary concern of epistemology is the acquistion of knowledge. Evolutionary epistemology must therefore draw a fundamental connection between adaptation and knowledge. Existing frameworks in evolutionary epistemology do this in two ways; (a) by treating adaptation as a form of knowledge, and (b) by treating the ability to acquire knowledge as a biologically evolved adaptation. I criticize both frameworks for failing to appreciate that mental representations can motivate behaviors that (...)
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  35. Pragmatics.Dan Sperber & Deirder Wilson - 2005 - In Frank Jackson & Michael Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Contemporary Philosophy. Oxford University Press.
     
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  36. On the Inappropriate Use of the Naturalistic Fallacy in Evolutionary Psychology.Anne B. Clark, Eric Dietrich & David Sloan Wilson - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):669-81.
    The naturalistic fallacy is mentionedfrequently by evolutionary psychologists as anerroneous way of thinking about the ethicalimplications of evolved behaviors. However,evolutionary psychologists are themselvesconfused about the naturalistic fallacy and useit inappropriately to forestall legitimateethical discussion. We briefly review what thenaturalistic fallacy is and why it is misusedby evolutionary psychologists. Then we attemptto show how the ethical implications of evolvedbehaviors can be discussed constructivelywithout impeding evolutionary psychologicalresearch. A key is to show how ethicalbehaviors, in addition to unethical behaviors,can evolve by natural selection.
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  37.  2
    Does Altruism Exist?: Culture, Genes, and the Welfare of Others.David Sloan Wilson - 2015 - Yale University Press.
    _A powerful treatise that demonstrates the existence of altruism in nature, with surprising implications for human society_ Does altruism exist? Or is human nature entirely selfish? In this eloquent and accessible book, famed biologist David Sloan Wilson provides new answers to this age-old question based on the latest developments in evolutionary science. From an evolutionary viewpoint, Wilson argues, altruism is inextricably linked to the functional organization of groups. “Groups that work” undeniably exist in nature and human society, although special conditions (...)
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  38. Murder and Violence in Kantian Ethics.Donald Wilson - 2018 - In Violetta L. Waibel, Margit Ruffing & David Wagner (eds.), Natur Und Freiheit. Akten des Xii. Internationalen Kant-Kongresses. De Gruyter. pp. 2257-2264.
    Acts of violence and murder have historically proved difficult to accommodate in standard accounts of the formula of universal law (FUL) version of Kant’s Categorical Imperative (CI). In “Murder and Mayhem,” Barbara Herman offers a distinctive account of the status of these acts that is intended to be appropriately didactic in comparison to accounts like the practical contradiction model. I argue that while Herman’s account is a promising one, the distinction she makes between coercive and non-coercive violence and her response (...)
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  39.  13
    On the Inappropriate Use of the Naturalistic Fallacy in Evolutionary Psychology.David Wilson, Eric Dietrich & Anne Clark - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (5):669-681.
    The naturalistic fallacy is mentionedfrequently by evolutionary psychologists as anerroneous way of thinking about the ethicalimplications of evolved behaviors. However,evolutionary psychologists are themselvesconfused about the naturalistic fallacy and useit inappropriately to forestall legitimateethical discussion. We briefly review what thenaturalistic fallacy is and why it is misusedby evolutionary psychologists. Then we attemptto show how the ethical implications of evolvedbehaviors can be discussed constructivelywithout impeding evolutionary psychologicalresearch. A key is to show how ethicalbehaviors, in addition to unethical behaviors,can evolve by natural selection.
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  40.  46
    Science, Community, and the Transformation of American Philosophy, 1860-1930.Daniel J. Wilson - 1990 - University of Chicago Press.
    In the first book-length study of American philosophy at the turn of the century, Daniel J. Wilson traces the formation of philosophy as an academic discipline. Wilson shows how the rise of the natural and physical sciences at the end of the nineteenth century precipitated a "crisis of confidence" among philosophers as to the role of their discipline. Deftly tracing the ways in which philosophers sought to incorporate scientific values and methods into their outlook and to redefine philosophy itself, Wilson (...)
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  41.  29
    Testing Major Evolutionary Hypotheses About Religion with a Random Sample.David Sloan Wilson - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (4):382-409.
  42. Language, Praxis, and the Right Hemisphere: Clues to Some Mechanisms of Consciousness.Michael S. Gazzaniga, J. E. LeDoux & David H. Wilson - 1977 - Neurology 27:1144-1147.
  43.  45
    Mind-Brain Interaction and Violation of Physical Laws.D. L. Wilson - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):8-9.
  44. Utilities of Gossip Across Organizational Levels.Kevin M. Kniffin & David Sloan Wilson - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (3):278-292.
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  45.  40
    Giving Liberty Its Due, But No More: Trans Fats, Liberty, and Public Health.Dr James Wilson - 2010 - American Journal of Bioethics 10 (3):34-36.
    Resnik’s argument relies upon an undefended and unjustified overvaluation of liberty. First, he overlooks some important arguments in favour of restrictions to liberty, and his consideration of the two he does review is unfair; second his account grossly overestimates the autonomy of our food choices; and lastly his mechanism for balancing liberty against other concerns involves an illicit double counting of the weight of individual liberty.
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  46.  51
    Language as a Community of Interacting Belief Systems: A Case Study Involving Conduct Toward Self and Others. [REVIEW]David Sloan Wilson - 1995 - Biology and Philosophy 10 (1):77-97.
    Words such as selfish and altruistic that describe conduct toward self and others are notoriously ambiguous in everyday language. I argue that the ambiguity is caused, in part, by the coexistence of multiple belief systems that use the same words in different ways. Each belief system is a relatively coherent linguistic entity that provides a guide for human behavior. It is therefore a functional entity with design features that dictate specific word meaning. Since different belief systems guide human behavior in (...)
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  47.  15
    Gossip and Other Aspects of Language as Group-Level Adaptations.David Sloane Wilson, Carolyn Wilczynski, Alexandra Wells & Laura Weiser - 2000 - In Celia Heyes & Ludwig Huber (eds.), The Evolution of Cognition. MIT Press.
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  48.  28
    Evolutionary Epidemiology.Daniel R. Wilson - 1993 - Acta Biotheoretica 41 (3):205-218.
    Epidemiology is a science of disease which specifies rates (illness prevalences, incidences, distributions, etc.). Evolution is a science of life which specifies changes (gene frequencies, generations, forms, function, etc.). Evolutionary Epidemiology is a synthesis of these two sciences which combines the empirical power of classical methods in genetical epidemiology with the interpretive capacities of neo-darwinian evolutionary genetics. In particular, prevalence rates of genetical diseases are important data points when reformulated for the purpose of analysis in terms of their evolutionary frequencies. (...)
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  49.  27
    The Japanese Tea Ceremony and Pancultural Definitions of Art.Daniel Wilson - 2018 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 76 (1):33-44.
    Dominic McIver Lopes and Yuriko Saito claim that the Japanese tea ceremony, or chadō, is a non-Western art form. Stephen Davies also defends that claim. In this article, I utilize the tea ceremony as a test case for pancultural definitions of art that claim to be inclusive of non-Western cultures without relying on Western ethnocentrism to justify their status as artworks. I argue that Davies's hybrid definition is not justified in assuming a homogenous art tradition and/or a unified conception of (...)
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  50.  56
    Rhetoric and Relevance.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1990 - In J. Bender & D. Wellbery (eds.), The Ends of Rhetoric: History, Theory, Practice. Stanford University Press. pp. 140-56.
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