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Imperative Transparency

Neural Oscillations as Representations

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 …

Synergic Kinds

According to the *homeostatic property cluster* family of accounts, one of the main conditions for groups of properties to count as natural is that these properties be frequently co-instantiated. I argue that this condition is, in fact, not necessary …

Real Patterns and Indispensability

While scientific inquiry crucially relies on the extraction of patterns from data, we still have a far from perfect understanding of the metaphysics of patterns—and, in particular, of what makes a pattern real. In this paper we derive a criterion of …

Deception as Cooperation

I develop a rate-distortion analysis of signaling games with imperfect common interest. Sender and receiver should be seen as jointly managing a communication channel with the objective of minimizing two independent distortion measures. I use this …

Usefulness Drives Representations to Truth

An important objection to signaling approaches to representation is that, if signaling behavior is driven by the maximization of usefulness (as is arguably the case for cognitive systems evolved under regimes of natural selection), then signals will …

A Mark of the Mental: In Defense of Informational Teleosemantics

Common Interest and Signaling Games: A Dynamic Perspective

We present a dynamic model of the evolution of communication in a Lewis signaling game while systematically varying the degree of common interest between sender and receiver. We show that the level of common interest between sender and receiver is …

The Organizational Account of Function is an Etiological Account of Function

The debate on the notion of function has been historically dominated by dispositional and etiological accounts, but recently a third contender has gained prominence: the organizational account. This original theory of function is intended to offer an …