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Content in Simple Signalling Systems

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Content in Simple Signalling Systems. / Shea, Nicholas James; Godfrey-Smith, Peter; Cao, Rosa.

In: BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE, 16.03.2016.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Harvard

Shea, NJ, Godfrey-Smith, P & Cao, R 2016, 'Content in Simple Signalling Systems', BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.

APA

Shea, N. J., Godfrey-Smith, P., & Cao, R. (Accepted/In press). Content in Simple Signalling Systems. BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE.

Vancouver

Shea NJ, Godfrey-Smith P, Cao R. Content in Simple Signalling Systems. BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. 2016 Mar 16.

Author

Shea, Nicholas James ; Godfrey-Smith, Peter ; Cao, Rosa. / Content in Simple Signalling Systems. In: BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. 2016.

Bibtex Download

@article{1ba51faeeeb84c06a66cc7208ff42f12,
title = "Content in Simple Signalling Systems",
abstract = "Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models of interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that is needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content is important. This paper shows that this concept can be made precise by defining a notion of functional content that captures the degree to which different states of the world are involved in stabilizing senders{\textquoteright} and receivers{\textquoteright} use of a signal at equilibrium. A series of case studies is used to contrast functional content with informational content, and to illustrate the explanatory role and limitations of this definition of functional content.",
author = "Shea, {Nicholas James} and Peter Godfrey-Smith and Rosa Cao",
year = "2016",
month = mar,
day = "16",
language = "English",
journal = "BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE",
issn = "0007-0882",
publisher = "Oxford University Press",

}

RIS (suitable for import to EndNote) Download

TY - JOUR

T1 - Content in Simple Signalling Systems

AU - Shea, Nicholas James

AU - Godfrey-Smith, Peter

AU - Cao, Rosa

PY - 2016/3/16

Y1 - 2016/3/16

N2 - Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models of interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that is needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content is important. This paper shows that this concept can be made precise by defining a notion of functional content that captures the degree to which different states of the world are involved in stabilizing senders’ and receivers’ use of a signal at equilibrium. A series of case studies is used to contrast functional content with informational content, and to illustrate the explanatory role and limitations of this definition of functional content.

AB - Our understanding of communication and its evolution has advanced significantly through the study of simple models of interacting senders and receivers of signals. Many theorists have thought that the resources of mathematical information theory are all that is needed to capture the meaning or content that is being communicated in these systems. However, the way theorists routinely talk about the models implicitly draws on a conception of content that is richer than bare informational content, especially in contexts where false content is important. This paper shows that this concept can be made precise by defining a notion of functional content that captures the degree to which different states of the world are involved in stabilizing senders’ and receivers’ use of a signal at equilibrium. A series of case studies is used to contrast functional content with informational content, and to illustrate the explanatory role and limitations of this definition of functional content.

M3 - Article

JO - BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

JF - BRITISH JOURNAL FOR THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE

SN - 0007-0882

ER -

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