Solving Philosophical Questions Using Models and Simulation: Signals & Language
We sill survey a collection of formal models that were proposed for the purpose of attacking fundamental philosophical problems regarding communication, language and social behavior. Most of the models are extensions of Lewis Signaling Games.
Among the issues we will discuss: evolution of shared vocabulary by multiple agents, evolution of categories and the invention of new signals. Drawing conclusions from the models typiclly involves simulation or (more rarely) analytic solutions. The major part of the seminar will be concerned with the work of Brian Skyrms and his followers.
Students will work in pair and will be required to implement one of the models discussed and/or extend it.