March 2010

Antonio Florio (Institute for Logic, Cognition, Language and Information, University of Basque Country, UPV-EHU, Spain)

After a concise introduction on the analysis of truth and meaning in philosophy of language, two notions of information are grasped by the analysis of Situation Semantics 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 and the notion of “being informative” is pointed out. The difference between a meaning-oriented and an informational-oriented perspective of language is marked. Messages are recognized as being the atomic constituents of the informational perspective of language; the architecture of language is shown; and a praxiological-information perspective on the study of language is outlined.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?

Carlos Aguilar, Lydia Sánchez & Manuel Campos (Universidad de Barcelona, Spain)

This paper presents a mathematical framework for the study of the information contained in audiovisual 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 audiovisual contents 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 audiovisual content can be included as part of a mathematical formulation of Situation Theory.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Margarita Vázquez (Facultad de Filosofía. Universidad de La Laguna, Spain)

In this paper, I analyse 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 logic.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Juan Ramón Álvarez (Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science, Universidad de León, Spain)

Pretensions of Biosemiotics as a unified approach to biological information are critically scrutinized within the study of different projects of semiotisation of nature and naturalization ot cultural processes. Main textual references and arguments are presented and critically pondered. Biosemiotics is here presented as an analytical method to study communication as founded in causality.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Ricardo Pérez-Amat García (University Juan Carlos I, Spain)

Being professor at the University Juan Carlos I (Madrid, Spain), he passed away in November the 14th 2008. This work was posthumously translated by Prof. B. Al Hadithi and J.M. Díaz Nafría.

Information can be understood as that which reduces uncertainty, no matter what origin it has. In the field of human communication, information is only meaningful if it is part of a finished or intentional action. Meaning should be gathered from the empirical perspective of the use of language.

If we study the processing of signification through transmission of the normal use of language, we will see that it takes place communicating a set of prototype categories, the core or central facts, which defines meaning as empirical hypothesis. But if there are central facts showing the use of words, then other facts –more or less peripheral– should also arise, whose knowledge is necessary in order to communicate in contexts far away from the “denotative conceptual norm”. Hence meaning can be represented by a fuzzy subset of the universe of discourse partition set. This concept of meaning may be integrated in a formal model of semantic source and information may be measured by non-probabilistic entropy.

  • Full article published in Triple C, 7(2), special issue What is really information?
  • Spanish article published in ¿Qué es información?, 2008

Luciano Floridi (Research Chair in Philosophy of Information and GPI, University of Hertfordshire, Faculty of Philosophy and IEG, University of Oxford, U.K.)

The article develops a correctness theory of truth (CTT) for semantic information. After the introduction, in section two, semantic information is shown to be translatable into propositional semantic information (i). In section three, i is polarised into a query (Q) and a result (R), qualified by a specific context, a level of abstraction and a purpose. This polarization is normalised in section four, where [Q + R] is transformed into a Boolean question and its relative yes/no answer [Q + A]. This completes the reduction of the truth of i to the correctness of A. In sections five and six, it is argued that (1) A is the correct answer to Q if and only if (2) A correctly saturates (in a Fregean sense) Q by verifying and validating it (in the computer science’s sense of “verification” and “validation”); that (2) is the case if and only if (3) [Q + A] generates an adequate model (m) of the relevant system (s) identified by Q; that (3) is the case if and only if (4) m is a proxy of s (in the computer science’s sense of “proxy”) and (5) proximal access to m commutes with the distal access to s (in the category theory’s sense of “commutation”); and that (5) is the case if and only if (6) reading/writing (accessing, in the computer science’s technical sense of the term) m enables one to read/write (access) s. The last section draws a general conclusion about the nature of CTT as a theory for systems designers not just systems users.

Rafael Capurro (Steinbeis-Transfer-Institut Information Ethics, Germany)

This text provides an overview of the complex history of the concept of information in the Greek-Latin as well as in the Medieval and Modern traditions. It connects the Latin etymology of the term informatio 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 (new) 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 the classic pre-modern philosophy. Establishing a connection between the concepts of information and message several options are presented leading to a concept of information based on a theory of messages.

José María Díaz Nafría & Francisco Salto Alemany (Universidad de León)

This issue poses the question: what information really is. The reality or way of being of information is called into question. Consider for a moment we were to ask what digestion really is. Digestion might be considered as a complex collection of biochemical processes allowing for many distinct levels of analysis in reality: molecular, atomic, quantum… Let d be a coherent complete description of such processes. Is digestion really d? It seems not, since our particular experience of digestion, our digesting, also seems to be part of what digestion “really” is. Moreover, we may ask whether digestion really occurs only within the organism, or rather there are external social phenomena determining what digestion “really” is. Regarding digestion there are also norms, values, indeed also ethical values, expectations and practices that are also part of what digestion “really” is. Reality is many sided and seems to include, from a manifest viewpoint, facts and also further nonfactual elements.