University of Connecticut

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ECOM Speaker Series - Ulrich Stegmann (Philosophy, Aberdeen)

Monday, December 12, 2016
4:00pm – 6:00pm

Storrs Campus
LH 201

Dr Ulrich Stegmann (Philosophy, Aberdeen) will give a talk to the ECOM Research Group.

Title: "Animal signals, acquisition conditions and the explanation of behavior"

Abstract: Animal communication is usually understood in terms of signalling: Senders emit signals that convey some information to receivers. Since information transfer appears to play a central role in explaining animal behaviour, there has been some debate about the kind of information involved. In view of general philosophical theories of information and content, animal signals are thought to either convey a kind of natural information or a kind of representational content. Here I approach the topic from the point of view of the information contents that scientists actually attribute to animal signals. I will argue that actual content attributions often pick out the conditions under which receivers acquired their dispositions for signal- and situation-specific responses (‘acquisition conditions’). This yields a notion of receiver-dependent content that is explanatory and widely applicable.

Contact:

Nathan Kellen, nathan.kellen@uconn.edu

Expression, Communication, and the Origins of Meaning Research G (primary), Cognitive Science Program, Connecticut Institute for the Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Philosophy Department, UConn Master Calendar

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