The Meaning of Biological Signals


We introduce the virtual special issue on content in signalling systems. The issue explores the uses and limits of ideas from evolutionary game theory and information theory for explaining the content of biological signals. We explain the basic idea of the Lewis-Skyrms sender-receiver framework, and we highlight three key themes of the issue: (i) the challenge of accounting for deception, misinformation and false content, (ii) the relevance of partial or total common interest to the evolution of meaningful signals, and (iii) how the sender-receiver framework relates to teleosemantics.

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 84:101348