July 2009

Rafael CAPURRO (Stuttgart Medien University)

This text provides an overview of the complex history of the notion of information in the Greek-Latin as well as in the Medieval and Modern traditions. It connects the Latin etymology of the term information with the Greek concepts of eidos/idea and morphé and shows how the objective meaning of information (‘giving form to something’) becomes obsolete in modernity where only the communicational meaning (‘telling something to someone’) remains.
Information theories in the 20th Century are related to the development of technical systems of message transmission. They give rise to a renaissance of the objective notion of information but under a different framework as the one of classic pre-modern philosophy.
Establishing a connection between the concepts of informa-tion and message several options are presented leading to a notion of information based on a theory of messages.

Article (Spanish)

Luciano FLORIDI (Universidad Oxford)

In recent years, philosophical interest in the nature of information has been increasing steadily. In particular, one of the current debates concerns the veridical nature of semantic information. The debate –somewhat old– justifies analysing semantic information in terms of well-formed, meaningful and veridical data, which suppose that semantic information encapsulates truth.
“Semantic information” is primarily understood in terms of content about a referent. This content is analysable in terms of well-formed and meaningful data. Strings or patterns of data may constitute sentences in a natural language, but of course they can also generate formulae, maps, diagrams, videos or other semiotic constructs in a variety of physical codes, being further determined by their appropriate syntax (well-formedness) and semantics (meaningfulness). By “about a referent” one is to understand the ordinary and familiar way in which the well-formed and meaningful data, constituting semantic information, concern or address some topic. In this paper, we shall be concerned with only this standard, epistemically oriented concept of semantic information.


Ricardo PÉREZ-AMAT (Universidad R. Juan Carlos I)

Information can be understood as that which reduces uncertainty, whatever the origin of this. In the field of human communication, information is only meaningful if it is part of an action is finished, intentional. Meaning will be raised from the emprirical perspective of use of language.
If we study processing of signification through transmission of normal use of language, we will see that it take place communicating a set of prototype categories, the medullary or central facts, that defines meaning as empirical hypothesis. But if there are central facts to learn the use of words, also it must exits facts more or less peripheral whitch knowledge is necessary in contexts so far of the “denotative conceptual norm”, so that meaning can be represented by a fuzzy set of universe of discourse set.
This concept of meaning can be integrated in a formal model of semantic source. Information can be measured by a non probabilistic entropy.


J.M. SAGÜILLO (Universidad Santiago de Compostela)

One of the multiple meanings of the word ‘information’ is given implicitly in the postulates and conditions of information-theoretic logic (I-T-L). The tradition of looking at logical phenomena from an informational stance goes back as far as the XIX century. Logicians such as Boole, De Morgan, Jevons, and Venn already suggested that deducing is a sort of unpacking the information already contained in given premises. In the XX century this tradition is recovered by Carnap and Bar Hillel, Cohen and Nagel, and more recently by Corcoran. John Corcoran has articulated a specific information-theoretic viewpoint of logic with its own particular characteristics. I intend to explain the basic ideas of I-T-L by motivating their philosophical underpinnings. One desideratum is to complement and to shed light on some of the philosophical shortcomings of the nowadays paradigmatic model-theoretic concept of logical consequence. Another is to provide a brief sample of questions to be newly addressed form the I-T-L, such as insufficiency as well as redundancy of information in a given axiom-set.


Gemma ROBLES (Universidad La Laguna)

In a standard sense, consistency and paraconsistency are understood as, respectively, the absence of any contradiction and as the absence of the ECQ (“E contradictione quodlibet”) rule that allows us to conclude any well formed formula from any contradiction. The aim of this paper is to explain the concepts of weak consistency alternative to the standard one, the concepts of paraconsistency related to them and the concept of strong paraconsisteny, all of which have been defined by the author together with José M. Méndez.


J.R. ÁLVAREZ BAUTISTA (Universidad de León)

This work considers complementary attempts to handle both nature and culture from the derived perspectives of two types of sciences: semiotics and natural sciences. It may be considered as a critical attempt to place both of them in their proper space: on the one hand, the initiatives of the so called Biosemiotics (in which causality and signification are purportedly unified in the idea of communication in the whole biosphere); on the other hand, the theory of cultural selection -which most remarked version is the well known Memetics (an application into cultural frames intendedly analogue to the theory of natural selection). The former is a semiotization of biology at the cost of a previous naturalization of semiotics itself, while the second one is a naturalization of the cultural space in terms of the “universal Darwinism” which implies the application of the selection idea (mechanism, algorithm, etc.) to cultural dynamics, mediated by the idea of information.
The thesis here to be defended amounts to consider Biosemiotics -presented as an analytical method to study communication- as ontologically founding communication in causality. Meanwhile Memetics -presented as an application of methodology to selection of cultural processes of production, diffusion and conservation of unities and complex aggregates of information- studies cultural causality in the frame of communicative efficiency.


Margarita VÁZQUEZ (Universidad La Laguna)

In this paper, I analyze the paradox called “The surprise exam paradox” or “The unexpected hanging paradox”. I study some interpretations of this paradox, like Quine and Ned Hall ones, and give my own view about its solution, making some approaches from classical logic and from temporal or epistemic logics.


Carlos AGUILAR, Lydia SANCHEZ & Manuel CAMPOS (Universidad de Barcelona)

This paper presents a mathematically solid framework for the study of audio-visual contents based on the development by Keith Devlin of situation theory. In order to obtain this framework, we present accounts of the processes carried out by agents from the reception of the audio-visual content to the extraction of information, in accordance with the definition by Israel and Perry. We finally justify why these accounts concerning the extraction of information from audio-visual content can be included as part of a mathematical formulation of situation theory.


Julio OSTALÉ (Universidad de Salamanca)

Semantic information is analysed by means of two consecutive approaches. Firstly, we consider semantic information via ordinary-language reports of the form “X carries the information that Y”. Secondly, and partially based on the previous analysis, we obtain a number of a priori conditions a physical system has to fulfill for semantic information to take place in such a system.


Anto FLORIO (Universidad del País Vasco)

After a concise introduction about the idea of correspondence and correlation, in the first part of the paper two notions of information are grasped by the analysis of Situations Semantic and Situation Theory. The first is that of correlation, the second that of constraint; the latter is reducible to the former. More than that, the phenomenon of “alethic nature of information” is highlighted, a clear concept of information is gained and the nutshell of any possible “informational theory of truth” is point out. In the second part, an informational epistemological synthesis and lecture of language is propounded. The difference between a meaning-oriented language and an informational-oriented language is outlined and ‘messages’ are recognized as being the atomic constituents of language. In the conclusion the attention is focused on naturalized epistemology of information and language.


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