Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
  •  60
    Teleosemantics and the Hard Problem of Content
    with Ross Pain
    Philosophical Psychology 34. 2021.
    Hutto and Myin claim that teleosemantics cannot account for mental content. In their view, teleosemantics accounts for a poorer kind of relation between cognitive states and the world but lacks the theoretical tools to account for a richer kind. We show that their objection imposes two criteria on theories of content: a truth-evaluable criterion and an intensionality criterion. For the objection to go through, teleosemantics must be subject to both these criteria and must fail to satisfy them. W…Read more
  •  40
    Consequences of a Functional Account of Information
    Review of Philosophy and Psychology 11 (3): 1-19. 2018.
    This paper aims to establish several interconnected points. First, a particular interpretation of the mathematical definition of information, known as the causal interpretation, is supported largely by misunderstandings of the engineering context from which it was taken. A better interpretation, which makes the definition and quantification of information relative to the function of its user, is outlined. The first half of the paper is given over to introducing communication theory and its compe…Read more
  •  26
    Attribution of Information in Animal Interaction
    Biological Theory 13 (3). 2018.
    This article establishes grounds on which attributions of information and encoding in animal signals are warranted. As common interest increases between evolutionary agents, the theoretical approach best suited to describing their interaction shifts from evolutionary game theory to communication theory, which warrants informational language. The take-home positive message is that in cooperative settings, signals can appropriately be described as transmitting encoded information, regardless of th…Read more