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.

Even concerning digestion, this holistic viewpoint is far from obvious, and it is not our aim here to advocate for it or against it. There is however an important presupposition involved in asking what information really is: we assume that information has some place or other in reality, in particular, we assume there is a cohesive and coherent account of informational phenomena, able to coherently set up facts, contents and values regarding information. In our current information era it seems natural to assume without further critical reflection a disunited class of uses of “information”. The point of this issue of tripleC is setting up a cohesive account of information in complex contemporary open societies and scientific communities.

There are at least three dimensions in our plea for such cohesive account of information: (a) from a conceptual point of view, there is a plethora of seemingly incompatible notions of “information”, (b) from a societal viewpoint, information can acritically postulate a new infinite realm of merchandise which does not foster a more cohesive society but instead a growing inequality, (c) a coherent unified approach to both the manifest image and the scientific image of information is still lacking (Sellars, 1962).

Contents of the Special issue

What is really information? An interdisciplinary approach

DÍAZ, J.M. & SALTO, F.: Introduction to the special issue “What is really information? An interdisciplinary approach” /i

CAPURRO, R.: Past, present, and future of the concept of information /125

The semantic question (context, truth, contradiction)

FLORIDI, L.: Outline of a Theory of Truth as Correctness for Semantic Information /142

PÉREZ-AMAT, R.: Towards a Semantic Theory of Information /158

ÁLVAREZ, J.R.: Biosemiotics: Communication and Causation (Information included) /172

SAGÜILLO, J.M.: One sense of ‘information’: A quick tutorial to Information-theoretic logic /179

ROBLES, G.: Weak consistency and strong paraconsistency /185

VÁZQUEZ, M.: Knowledge, Information and Surprise /194

OSTALÉ, J.: Analysis of Semantic Information via Information Reports /202

AGUILAR, C. et al: Situational analysis of the communication flow in audiovisual media /208

FLORIO, A.: The notion of ‘being informative’ & the praxiological-information perspective on language /214

The pragmatic question (system, person, society)

FLEISSNER, P.: The “Commodification” of Knowledge in the Global Information Society /228

FERNÁNDEZ-MOLINA, J.C.: Competing views of information: human right vs.commodity, private vs. shared property /239

FUCHS, C.: Towards a critical theory of information /243

MASTROMATTEO, E.: Latin America’s information technologies: promises and realities /293

DÍAZ, J.M. & Al HADITHI, B.: Are “the semantic aspects” actually “irrelevant to the engineering problem”? /300

MOREIRO, J.A. et al.: Indexing languages in information Management, apromising future or an obsolete resource?/309

Is information an objective or subjective category?

CAMPOS, M.: The Notion of Information /232

LIZ, M.: World and mind, information and semantic content /327

AGUADO, J.M.: Information, Self-Reference and Observation Theory in the Context of Social Sciences Epistemology /344

Is it possible a unified theory of information? (Reductionism, holism, unified theory)

HOFKIRCHNER, W.: How to achieve a unified theory of information /357

MARIJUÁN, P.: The Advancement of Information Science /369

LARA, J.: Intracellular management of information: from DNA to proteins /376

GEJMAN, R.: An integrated framework for information, communication and knowledge definitions /386


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