Synthese (6):2279-2303 (2019)

Don Fallis
Northeastern University
Peter J. Lewis
Dartmouth College
Deception has long been an important topic in philosophy. However, the traditional analysis of the concept, which requires that a deceiver intentionally cause her victim to have a false belief, rules out the possibility of much deception in the animal kingdom. Cognitively unsophisticated species, such as fireflies and butterflies, have simply evolved to mislead potential predators and/or prey. To capture such cases of “functional deception,” several researchers Machiavellian intelligence II, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 112–143, 1997; Searcy and Nowicki, The evolution of animal communication, Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2005; Skyrms, Signals, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2010) have endorsed the broader view that deception only requires that a deceiver benefit from sending a misleading signal. Moreover, in order to facilitate game-theoretic study of deception in the context of Lewisian sender-receiver games, Brian Skyrms has proposed an influential formal analysis of this view. Such formal analyses have the potential to enhance our philosophical understanding of deception in humans as well as animals. However, as we argue in this paper, Skyrms’s analysis, as well as two recently proposed alternative analyses, are seriously flawed and can lead us to draw unwarranted conclusions about deception.
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-017-1536-3
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References found in this work BETA

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Accuracy and the Laws of Credence.Richard Pettigrew - 2016 - Oxford University Press UK.

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Citations of this work BETA

Deception (Under Uncertainty) as a Kind of Manipulation.Vladimir Krstić & Chantelle Saville - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):830-835.
Propositional Content in Signals.Brian Skyrms & Jeffrey A. Barrett - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:34-39.
Accuracy-First Epistemology Without Additivity.Richard Pettigrew - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (1):128-151.
Altruistic Deception.Jonathan Birch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 74:27-33.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

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