Evolutionary psychology, learning, and belief signaling: design for natural and artificial systems

Synthese 199 (5-6):14097-14119 (2021)
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Recent work in the cognitive sciences has argued that beliefs sometimes acquire signaling functions in virtue of their ability to reveal information that manipulates “mindreaders.” This paper sketches some of the evolutionary and design considerations that could take agents from solipsistic goal pursuit to beliefs that serve as social signals. Such beliefs will be governed by norms besides just the traditional norms of epistemology. As agents become better at detecting the agency of others, either through evolutionary history or individual learning, the candidate pool for signaling expands. This logic holds for natural and artificial agents that find themselves in recurring social situations that reward the sharing of one’s thoughts.



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Eric Funkhouser
University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

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Debunking creedal beliefs.Hrishikesh Joshi - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6):1-18.

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