Brian Skyrms

in Signals

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199580828
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722769 | DOI:

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This chapter shows that in all kinds of signaling systems in nature there is information transmission which is sufficient to maintain signaling, but there is also misinformation and even deception. Misinformation is straightforward. If receipt of a signal moves probabilities of states it contains information about the state. If it moves the probability of a state in the wrong direction — either by diminishing the probability of the state in which it is sent, or raising the probability of a state other than the one in which it is sent — then it is misleading information, or misinformation. If misinformation is sent systematically and benefits the sender at the expense of the receiver, then it is deception.

Keywords: deception; signals; signaling system; misinformation

Chapter.  3226 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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