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Naturalizing Natural Salience

VanDrunen, Jacob and Herrmann, Daniel A. (2023) Naturalizing Natural Salience. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. ISSN 1464-3537

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Grice, Lewis, and Skyrms proposed similar distinctions between kinds of meaning. The meaning of terms in human language, as Lewis and Skyrms had it, is ‘conventional’. Skyrms presented models showing how it is possible for conventional meaning to evolve in a population without reliance on pre-existing meaning. But one might think of conventionality as coming in degrees, based on whether the evolutionary process begins with ‘natural saliences’. We propose a theory of natural salience and several extensions of Skyrms’s models to capture this notion. These models reveal that natural saliences can hinder, as well as help, the evolution of language.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
VanDrunen, Jacobjackvandrunen@gmail.com0000-0002-7719-8196
Herrmann, Daniel A.daherrma@uci.edu0000-0001-5322-1921
Keywords: signalling games; self-assembling games; salience; convention; meaning
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Game Theory
Depositing User: Mr. Jacob VanDrunen
Date Deposited: 12 May 2023 12:26
Last Modified: 12 May 2023 12:26
Item ID: 22098
Journal or Publication Title: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Official URL:
DOI or Unique Handle:
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Game Theory
Date: 23 April 2023
ISSN: 1464-3537

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