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  1. Cost, Expenditure and Vulnerability.David Kalkman, Carl Brusse & Justin Bruner - 2017 - Biology and Philosophy 32 (3):357-375.
    The handicap principle stipulates that signal reliability can be maintained if signals are costly to produce. Yet empirical biologists are typically unable to directly measure evolutionary costs, and instead appeal to expenditure as a sensible proxy. However the link between expenditure and cost is not always as straightforward as proponents of HP assume. We consider signaling interactions where whether the expenditure associated with signaling is converted into an evolutionary cost is in some sense dependent on the behavior of the intended (...)
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  • Moral Torch Fishing: A Signaling Theory of Blame.David Shoemaker & Manuel Vargas - 2019 - Noûs:online.
    It is notable that all of the leading theories of blame have to employ ungainly fixes to deflect one or more apparent counterexamples. What these theories share is a content‐based theory of blame's nature. Such approaches overlook or ignore blame's core unifying feature, namely, its function, which is to signal the blamer's commitment to a set of norms. In this paper, we present the problems with the extant theories and then explain what signaling is, how it functions in blame, why (...)
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  • Assertions, Handicaps, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2020 - Episteme 17 (3):349-363.
    How should we undertand the role of norms – especially epistemic norms – governing assertive speech acts? Mitchell Green has argued that these norms play the role of handicaps in the technical sense from the animal signals literature. As handicaps, they then play a large role in explaining the reliability – and so the stability – of assertive speech acts. But though norms of assertion conceived of as social norms do indeed play this stabilizing role, these norms are best understood (...)
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  • Modelling Religious Signalling.Carl Brusse - 2019 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    The origins of human social cooperation confound simple evolutionary explanation. But from Darwin and Durkheim onward, theorists (anthropologists and sociologists especially) have posited a potential link with another curious and distinctively human social trait that cries out for explanation: religion. This dissertation explores one contemporary theory of the co-evolution of religion and human social cooperation: the signalling theory of religion, or religious signalling theory (RST). According to the signalling theory, participation in social religion (and its associated rituals and sanctions) acts (...)
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  • Assertions, Handicaps, and Social Norms.Peter J. Graham - 2020 - Episteme 8:1-15.
    How should we undertand the role of norms—especially epistemic norms—governing assertive speech acts? Mitchell Green (2009) has argued that these norms play the role of handicaps in the technical sense from the animal signals literature. As handicaps, they then play a large role in explaining the reliability—and so the stability (the continued prevalence)—of assertive speech acts. But though norms of assertion conceived of as social norms do indeed play this stabilizing role, these norms are best understood as deterrents and not (...)
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  • Disclosure and Information Transfer in Signaling Games.Justin P. Bruner - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (4):649-666.
    One of the major puzzles in evolutionary theory is how communication and information transfer are possible when the interests of those involved conflict. Perfect information transfer seems inevitable if there are physical constraints, which limit the signal repertoire of an individual, effectively making bluffing an impossibility. This, I argue, is incorrect. Unfakeable signals by no means guarantee information transfer. I demonstrate the existence of a so-called pooling equilibrium and discuss why the traditional argument for perfect information transfer does not hold (...)
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