José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Mario Pérez-Montoro (Department of Information Science, University of Barcelona, Spain)

Based upon the natural limits of observation, we tackle a critical review of Dretske’s approach to information, knowledge and perception. The physics of the manifestation of an arbitrary object –tackled in Part 2 as a separate article– sets forth an informational boundary stating that information cannot be enough to support our cognitive processes. The problems do not rely –as Dretske supposes- on the lacks of the channel, but on the very nature of observation. Furthermore, Dretske’s approach –handcuffed to his maximalist support on information- presents some lacks concerning processual character of information, fuzziness of perception and knowledge, contents de dicto and conventional regularities. The posed limits and problems intend to settle new foundations for a more refined conjunction of information and knowledge.

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José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Mario Pérez-Montoro (Department of Information Science, University of Barcelona, Spain)

In this second part of our inquiry into the relation between information and cognition, we delve into the physical limits of the manifestation of an arbitrary object first with independence of any observer, then considering the nature of perception. The analysis of the manifestations of an object in a homogeneous environment by means of wave phenomena shows that the information carried by such manifestations offers a constitutive fuzziness and ambiguity of the observed object. On the one hand, the details that can be specified concerning the object are strictly limited by the wave length; on the other hand, the volumetric details of the object (i.e. its bowls) are outlawed to the observer, not in virtue of the object opacity, but to the very dimension or complexity of the wave phenomenon in the space surrounding the object. The analysis of perception, considering this physical boundary and the specificity of the animal sensitivity, shows the combined role of other concurrent or previous percept and some a priori knowledge in the perception and awareness of reality.

Juan Miguel Aguado (School of Information and Communication Studies, Universidad de Murcia, Spain)

By attempting to fix an observable magnitude, the concept of information involves a cognitive model that enables a double ontological rupture: between subject and world, on one side, and between cognition and action, on the other side. A genealogical approach to information as a simultaneously epistemological and cognitive crossroad highlights the centrality of observation theory in the resolution of its contradictions. The recursive nature of observation inherent to informational logics makes constructivist assumptions especially relevant as a key contribution for an epistemological revision of the ideas of information and communication.

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

Juan Miguel AGUADO (Universidad de Murcia)

By attempting to fix an observable magnitude, the concept of information involves a cognitive model that enables a double ontological rupture: between subject and world, on one side, and between cognition and action, on the other side. A genealogical approach to information as a simultaneously epistemological and cognitive crossroad highlights the centrality of observation theory in the resolution of its contradictions. The recursive nature of observation inherent to informational logics makes constructivist assumptions especially relevant as a key contribution for an epistemological revision of the ideas of information and communication.

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