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David Sloan Wilson [54]Deirdre Wilson [34]David Wilson [22]David B. Wilson [17]
Daniel J. Wilson [12]Duncan Wilson [11]Daniel Wilson [9]D. Wilson [8]

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Deirdre Wilson
University College London
Donald Wilson
Kansas State University
3 more
  1. Relevance, Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1986 - Oxford: Blackwell.
     
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  2.  45
    Relevance.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.
  4.  19
    Unto Others: The Evolution and Psychology of Unselfish Behavior.Elliot Sober & David Sloan Wilson - 2002 - Mind 111 (441):178-182.
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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.  78
    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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  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. Relevance Theory.Deirdre Wilson & Dan Sperber - 2002 - In L. Horn & G. Ward (eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics. Blackwell. pp. 607-632.
  9. Reintroducing Group Selection to the Human Behavioral Sciences.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 1994 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 17 (4):585-608.
  10. 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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  11. 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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  12.  49
    Précis of Relevance: Communication and Cognition.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1987 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 10 (4):697.
  13. Norms of Truthfulness and Non-Deception in Kantian Ethics.Donald Wilson - 2015 - In Pablo Muchnik Oliver Thorndike (ed.), Rethinking Kant Volume 4. Cambridge Scholars Press. pp. 111-134.
    Questions about the morality of lying tend to be decided in a distinctive way early in discussions of Kant’s view on the basis of readings of the false promising example in his Groundwork of The metaphysics of morals. The standard deception-as-interference model that emerges typically yields a very general and strong presumption against deception associated with a narrow and rigorous model subject to a range of problems. In this paper, I suggest an alternative account based on Kant’s discussion of self-deception (...)
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  14. 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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  15. 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.
  16.  50
    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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  17.  12
    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.  14
    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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  21.  90
    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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  22.  33
    Balancing Commitments: Own-Happiness and Beneficence.Donald Wilson - 2017 - Contemporary Studies in Kantian Philosophy 2017.
    There is a familiar problem in moral theories that recognize positive obligations to help others related to the practical room these obligations leave for ordinary life, and the risk that open-ended obligations to help others will consume our lives and resources. Responding to this problem, Kantians have tended to emphasize the idea of limits on positive obligations but are typically unsatisfactorily vague about the nature and extent of these limits. I argue here that aspects of Kant’s discussion of duties of (...)
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  23. IX—Loose Talk.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1985 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 86 (1):153-172.
  24. Abortion, Persons, and Futures of Value.Donald Wilson - 2007 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (2):86-97.
    Don Marquis argues that his “future of value” account of the ethics of killing affords us a persuasive argument against abortion that avoids difficult questions about the moral status of the fetus. I argue that Marquis’ account is missing essential detail required for the claimed plausibility of the argument and that any attempt to provide this needed detail can be expected to undercut the claim of plausibility. I argue that this is the case because attempts to provide the missing detail (...)
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  25.  11
    Pragmatics.Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson - 1981 - Cognition 10 (1-3):281-286.
  26.  7
    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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  27.  9
    Unto Others.David Sloan Wilson & Elliott Sober - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65 (3):692-696.
  28.  25
    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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  29. 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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  30.  11
    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.
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  31. On the Inappropriate Use of the Naturalistic Fallacy in Evolutionary Psychology.Wilson David Sloan, Dietrich Eric & B. Clark Anne - 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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  32.  60
    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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  33.  25
    Pathological Altruism.Barbara Oakley, Ariel Knafo, Guruprasad Madhavan & David Sloan Wilson (eds.) - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
    Pathological Altruism presents a number of new, thought-provoking theses that explore a range of hurtful effects of altruism and empathy.
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  34.  52
    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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  35.  46
    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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  36.  24
    Testing Major Evolutionary Hypotheses About Religion with a Random Sample.David Sloan Wilson - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (4):382-409.
  37.  9
    The Leading Edge of Leadership Studies.David Carl Wilson - 2018 - Philosophy of Management 17 (3):373-378.
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  38. Utilities of Gossip Across Organizational Levels.Kevin M. Kniffin & David Sloan Wilson - 2005 - Human Nature 16 (3):278-292.
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  39. 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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  40.  72
    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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  41. Presuppositions and Non-Truth-Conditional Semantics.Deirdre Wilson - 1975 - Academic Press.
     
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  42.  38
    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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  43.  97
    Book Review: When Species Meet. [REVIEW]Duncan Wilson - 2009 - History of the Human Sciences 22 (1):149-155.
  44. Racial Prejudice and the Performing Animals Controversy in Early Twentieth-Century Britain.David Wilson - 2009 - Society and Animals 17 (2):149-165.
    This paper attempts to show how racial prejudice and selective, usually inarticulate, racial discrimination influenced attempts to conduct an objective examination of charges of cruelty in the training and exhibition of performing animals in Britain in the early twentieth century. As the debate intensified, and following the appointment of a parliamentary Select Committee, one explanation often given by both sides for shortcomings in the treatment of performing animals was the alleged cruelty particularly or exclusively attributable to the “alien enemy,” “foreigners,” (...)
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  45.  5
    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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  46. Presuppositions and Non-Truth-Conditional Semantics.Deirdre Wilson - 1977 - Mind 86 (344):627-629.
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  47.  44
    Mind-Brain Interaction and Violation of Physical Laws.D. L. Wilson - 1999 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 6 (8-9):8-9.
    If mind is not a part of the physical universe but is able to influence brain events, then violations of physical laws should occur at points of such mental influence. Using current knowledge of how the nervous system functions, the minimal necessary magnitude of such violations is examined. A variety of influences that could produce action potentials is considered, including the direct opening of sodium channels in membranes, the triggering of release of neurotransmitter at synapses, the opening of postsynaptic, ligand-gated (...)
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  48. 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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  49.  40
    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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  50. 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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