Title

The Senses as Signalling Systems

Abstract

A central goal of the philosophy of perception is to uncover the nature of sensory capacities. Ideally, we would like an account that specifies what conditions need to be met in order for an organism to count as having the capacity to sense or perceive its environment. And, on the assumption that sensory states are the kinds of things that can be accurate or inaccurate, a further goal of the philosophy of perception is to identify the accuracy conditions for sensory states. In this paper I recommend a novel approach to these core issues, one that draws heavily on game-theoretic treatments of signalling in nature. A benefit of the approach is that it helps us to understand why biologists attribute sensory powers to such a diverse range of organisms, including plants, fungi, and algae.

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Publication Date

7-1-2018

Publication Title

Australasian Journal of Philosophy

Department

Philosophy

Document Type

Article

DOI

10.1080/00048402.2017.1381749

Keywords

Perception, The senses, Signalling, Information, Sensory error, Plants

Language

English

Format

text

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