PSA2016: The 25th Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association

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Responsiveness and robustness in the David Lewis signalling game

We consider modifications to the standard David Lewis signalling game and relax a number of unrealistic implicit assumptions that are often built into the framework. In particular, we explore realistic asymmetries that exist between the sender and receiver roles. We find that endowing receivers with a more realistic set of responses significantly decreases the likelihood of signalling, while allowing for unequal selection pressure often has the opposite effect. We argue that the results of this paper can also help make sense of a well-known evolutionary puzzle regarding the absence of an evolutionary arms race between sender and receiver in conflict of interest signalling games.

Word count: 4527

Author Information:

Carl Brusse    
School of Philosophy
The Australian National University

Justin Bruner    


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