Animal Communication Theory
The explanation of animal communication by means of concepts like information, meaning and reference is one of the central foundational issues in animal behaviour studies. This book explores these issues, revolving around questions such as: • What is the nature of information? • What theoretical roles does information play in animal communication studies? • Is it justified to employ these concepts in order to explain animal communication? • What is the relation between animal signals and human language? The book approaches the topic from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including ethology, animal cognition, theoretical biology and evolutionary biology, as well as philosophy of biology and mind. A comprehensive introduction familiarises non-specialists with the field and leads on to chapters ranging from philosophical and theoretical analyses to case studies involving primates, birds and insects. The resulting survey of new and established concepts and methodologies will guide future empirical and theoretical research.