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Evolution and the explanation of meaning
Author: Huttegger, Simon M.
Journal: Philosophy of Science
Volume: 74
Year: 2007
Pages: 1—27

Signaling games provide basic insights into some fundamental questions concerning the explanation of meaning. They can be analyzed in terms of rational choice theory and in terms of evolutionary game theory. It is argued that an evolutionary approach provides better explanations for the emergence of simple communication systems. To substantiate these arguments, I will look at models similar to those of Skyrms (2000) and Komarova and Niyogi (2004) and study their dynamical properties. My results will lend partial support to the thesis that evolution leads to communication. In general, states of partial communication may evolve with positive probability under standard evolutionary dynamics. However, unlike states of perfect communication, they are unstable relative to neutral drift.