Academic publications

Scott-Phillips, T. C., Blancke, S., & Heintz, C. (working paper). Four misunderstandings about cultural attraction.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (in press). Cognition and communication. In H. Callan (Ed.), International Encyclopaedia of Anthropology.

Mercier, H., Dezecache, G., & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (in press). Strategically communicating minds. Current Directions in Psychological Science.

O’Grady, C. Scott-Phillips, T. C., Lavelle, S., & Smith, K. (in press). The dot-perspective task revisited: Evidence for directional effects. In G. Gunzelmann et al. (Eds.). Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society. Austin, TX: Cognitive Science Society.

Slocombe, K., & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (in press). Communication and language. In: M. Müller et al. (Eds.), Chimpanzees & Human Evolution. Cambridge, MA: HUP.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2017). A (simple) experimental demonstration that cultural evolution is not replicative, but reconstructive – and an explanation of why this difference matters. Journal of Cognition & Culture, 17(1-2), 1-11.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2017). Pragmatics and the aims of language evolution. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 24(1), 186-189.

Shuker, D. M., Barrett, L., Dickins, T. E., Scott-Phillips, T. C., & Barton, R. (2017). General intelligence does not help us understand cognitive evolution (commentary on J. M. Burkart et al., ‘The evolution of general intelligence ’). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 40, e195.

Vullioud C., Clément F., Scott-Phillips T., & Mercier H. (2017). Confidence as an expression of commitment: Why misplaced expressions of confidence backfire. Evolution & Human Behavior, 38(1), 9-17.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2016). Can cultural evolution bridge scientific continents? (Essay review of T. Lewens, ‘Cultural Evolution: Conceptual Challenges’). Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, 57, 170-173.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2016). Meaning in animal communication: Summarising the debateAnimal Cognition, 19(1), 233-238.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2015). Meaning in animal and human communication. Animal Cognition, 18(3), 801-805.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2015). Nonhuman primate communication, pragmatics, and the origins of language. Current Anthropology, 56(1), 56-80.
(Target article, with nine commentaries, and my response, ‘Towards a comparative pragmatics?’)

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2015). Language and communication. In: V. Zeigler-Hill et al. (Eds.), Evolutionary Perspectives on Social Psychology (pp. 279-290). New York, NY: Springer.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2015). Précis of Speaking Our Minds (2015). International Cognition & Culture Institute.
(This précis opened a two-week online book club, focused on Speaking Our Minds.)

Scott-Phillips, T. C., & Sperber, D. (2015). The mutual relevance of teaching and cultural attraction (commentary on M. A. Kline, ‘How to learn about teaching: An evolutionary framework for the study of teaching behavior in humans and other animals’). Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e31.

O’Grady, C.*, Kliesch, C.*, Smith, K., & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2015). The ease and extent of recursive mindreading, across implicit and explicit tasks. Evolution & Human Behavior, 36(4), 313-322.
(* joint first-authors)

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2014). Speaking Our Minds. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Scott-Phillips, T. C., & Dickins, T. E. (2014). Group-level traits can be studied with standard evolutionary theory (commentary on P. E. Smaldino, ‘The cultural evolution of emergent group-level traits’). Behavioral and Brain Sciences 37(3), 273-274.

Scott-Phillips, T. C., Gurney, J., Ivens, A., Diggle, S. P., & Popat, R. (2014). Combinatorial communication in bacteria: Implications for the origins of linguistic generativityPLoS One, 9(4), e95929.
(Press coverage: The Metro, ITV, Business Standard, Science Daily, Zee News, Belfast Telegraph, Times of Malta, Northern Echo, and numerous others. I also did a short interview with BBC Tees.)

Scott-Phillips, T. C., Laland, K. N., Shuker, D. M., Dickins, T. E. & West, S. A. (2014). The niche construction perspective: A critical appraisalEvolution, 68(5), 1231-1243.

Blythe, R. A., & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2014). Simulating the real origins of communicationPLoS One, 9(11), e113636.

Claidière, N.*, Scott-Phillips, T. C.* & Sperber, D. (2014). How Darwinian is cultural evolution? Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 369, 20130368.
(* joint first-authors)
(Online discussion: Scientia Salon, Alberto Acerbi, Alberto Acerbi (again))

Cornforth, D. M., Popat, R., McNally, L., Gurney, J., Scott-Phillips, T. C., Ivens, A., Diggle, S. P., & Brown, S. P. (2014). Combinatorial quorum-sensing communication allows bacteria to resolve physical and social uncertainty. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111(11), 4280-4284.
(Press coverage: Daily Mail, The Herald, The Scotsman, The Times, BBC.)

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2013). Defending an effects-based definition of communication (commentary on Scarantino, A., Animal communication as information-mediated influence). In: U. Stegmann (Ed.), Animal Communication Theory: Information and Influence (pp. 184-185). Cambridge: CUP.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2013). Functional issues in animal communication research (commentary on Rendall, D. & Owren, M. J., Communication without meaning or information: Abandoning language-based and informational constructs in animal communication theory). In: U. Stegmann (Ed.), Animal Communication Theory: Information and Influence (pp. 82-83). Cambridge: CUP.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. & Blythe, R. A. (2013). Why is combinatorial communication rare in the natural world, and why is language an exception to this trend? Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 10(88).
(Supplementary Information here.)
(Blog discussion: Replicated Typo.)

Scott-Phillips, T. C. & Kirby, S. (2013). Information, influence and inference in language evolution. In U. Stegmann (Ed.), Animal Communication Theory: Information and Influence (pp. 421-442). Cambridge: CUP.
(This chapter includes three commentaries, and my response.)

Dezecache, G., Mercier, H. & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2013). Emotional communication: An evolutionary perspectiveJournal of Pragmatics, 59B, 221-233.

Grosse, G.*, Scott-Phillips, T. C.* & Tomasello, M. (2013). Three-year-olds hide their communicative intentions in appropriate contextsDevelopmental Psychology, 49(11), 2095-2101.
(* joint first-authors)

Skarabela, B., Allen, S. & Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2013). Joint attention helps explain why children omit new arguments. Journal of Pragmatics, 56, 5-14.

Scott-Phillips, T. C., Blythe, R., Gardner, A. & West, S. A. (2012). How do communication systems emerge? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, B, 279(1735), 1943-1949.
(Supplementary information here.)

Scott-Phillips, T. C., Tamariz, M., Cartmill, E. A., & Hurford, J. R. (Eds.) (2012). The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of 9th International Conference. Singapore: World Scientific.

Scott-Phillips, T. C., Dickins, T. E. & West, S. A. (2011). Evolutionary theory and the ultimate/proximate distinction in the human behavioural sciences. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 6(1), 38-47.
(Blog discussion: Rob Kurzban.)

Abbot, P. & 136 other authors, including Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2011). Inclusive fitness theory and eusocialityNature, 471, e1-e4.
(This is an infamous commentary, which has been much discussed both within and outside academia. Jon Wilkins, among others, provides a good, accessible summary of the controversy.)

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2010). The evolution of relevance. Cognitive Science, 34(4), 583-601.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2010). Animal communication: Insights from linguistic pragmatics. Animal Behaviour, 79(1), e1-e4.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2010). The evolution of communication: Humans may be exceptional. Interaction Studies, 11(1), 78-99. 
(Reprinted (2012) in: Experimental Semiotics: Studies in the Emergence and Evolution of Human Communication (pp. 79-100). B. Galantucci & S. Garrod (Eds.) Amsterdam: John Benjamins)

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2010). Evolutionary psychology and the origins of language. Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, 8(4), 289-307.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2010). Evolutionarily stable communication and pragmatics. In A. Benz, et al. (Eds.), Language, Games, and Evolution (pp. 117-133). Amsterdam: AUP.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. & Kirby, S. (2010). Language evolution in the laboratory. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 14(9), 411-417.
Blog discussion: Replicated Typo.)

Scott-Phillips, T. C., Kirby, S., & Ritchie, G. R. S. (2009). Signalling signalhood and the emergence of communication. Cognition, 113(2), 226-233.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2008). Defining biological communication. Journal of Evolutionary Biology, 21(2), 387-395.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2008). On the correct application of animal signalling theory to human communication. In A. D. M. Smith, et al. (Eds.), The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (pp.275-282). Singapore: World Scientific.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2007). The social evolution of language, and the language of social evolutionEvolutionary Psychology, 5(4), 740-753.

Scott-Phillips, T. C. (2006). Why talk? Speaking as selfish behaviour. In A. Cangelosi, et al. (Eds.). The Evolution of Language: Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on the Evolution of Language (pp.299-306). Singapore: World Scientific.