Deception: a functional account

Philosophical Studies 175 (3):579-600 (2018)
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Deception has recently received a significant amount of attention. One of main reasons is that it lies at the intersection of various areas of research, such as the evolution of cooperation, animal communication, ethics or epistemology. This essay focuses on the biological approach to deception and argues that standard definitions put forward by most biologists and philosophers are inadequate. We provide a functional account of deception which solves the problems of extant accounts in virtue of two characteristics: deceptive states have the function of causing a misinformative states and they do not necessarily provide direct benefits to the deceivers and losses to the targets.
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Archival date: 2019-11-02
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