Animal Abduction and the Emergence of Deception

Lorenzo MagnaniUniversity of Pavia, Italy
Tommaso BertolottiUniversity of Pavia


This paper deals with the emergence of aggressive deceptive behaviors in animal cognition. The adopted framework is an abductive/semiotic one. The first section frames animal cognition as more than “merely” instinctual, making room for the possibility of some kind of mental representations in nonhuman cognition. The second section proposes a case of insect communication where it is possible to individuate a kind of deception. The third section argues for the understanding of deception, a ultimately morally-laden concept, as an emerging phenomenon where the growing semiotic complexity plays a fundamental role.


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