In this talk, Armstrong discusses recent work related to questions concerning the form of our models of communication between non-human animals. Armstrong's point of departure is David Lewis’ influential sender-receiver model of interpersonal communication. Armstrong argues that the communicative behavior of non-human animals motivates the need to generalize Lewis’ models in ways that are now familiar using tools provided by evolutionary game theory. Armstrong also argues that our models of animal communication should reflect degrees of psychological involvement in animal communication systems not present in other target systems studied via evolutionary game theory. To this end, Armstrong introduces a class of minimally mental models of communication (MMMs) and explores some of the differences between these models and more standard biological models of communication. Along the way, Armstrong discusses some connections between his “Multiple-Models” approach to animal communication and the extended evolutionary synthesis.
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