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Handicap Principle >>> Signaling Theory

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  • Jesse Morrison
    Searching the archives, I did not find any posts on Amotz Zahavi, Handicap Principle, or Signaling Theory. I find this to be the most interesting theory, in
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 2, 2003
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      Searching the archives, I did not find any posts on Amotz Zahavi, Handicap Principle, or Signaling Theory.

      I find this to be the most interesting theory, in relation to sexual selection theory.

      Question:

      If I have a negative emotion, do I suppress the emotion to escape the pain (Reich/Lowen), and/or do I suppress it because it may be perceived as a "negative fitness signal" by a potential mate (deception)?

      jesse

      "We are not separate from our emotions, we ARE the emotions."
      --J. Krishnamurti


      http://octavia.zoology.washington.edu/handicap/sexual_selection.html
    • Jeremy Bowman
      ... -- I agree, and I would add that it -- or something very like it -- has a very wide range of applications in other areas not directly connected with sexual
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 3, 2003
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        Jesse Morrison wrote:

        > Searching the archives, I did not
        > find any posts on Amotz Zahavi,
        > Handicap Principle, or Signaling
        > Theory.
        >
        > I find this to be the most
        > interesting theory, in relation to
        > sexual selection theory.

        -- I agree, and I would add that it -- or something very like it -- has a
        very wide range of applications in other areas not directly connected with
        sexual selection.

        To take a banal example, a cyclist's hand signal is usually more
        reliable/trustworthy than a car driver's flashing indicator, because it
        "costs" more to make it.

        I think loose connections like these between cost and reliability have all
        sorts of applications from "angling" to "zoning land", including
        "economics" in between.

        In philosophy, all this has great relevance for our understanding of the
        "good life". Most people harm themselves, in effect, to send out
        reliable-looking signals (such as "I am rich" or "I am talented"). But
        self-harm is inimical to human happiness. If only we could do something to
        spare ourselves (from getting into serious debt or working ridiculous
        hours, say)...

        To a limited extent, we humans seem to be able to "slip the surly bonds" of
        nature. But I'm not sure how we might try to avoid "self-harmful
        signalling" -- Can we make a conscious decision not to send out such
        signals? Should we always avoid situations in which we are likely to send
        out such signals? I'm not sure.

        The one thing I am sure about is this: true to form, as ever, academic
        philosophers are busy neglecting a scientific principle of great importance
        to philosophy.

        Jeremy Bowman

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