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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Roberto Gejman (Computer Science Departament, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, CHILE)

An integrated set of definitions and distinctions in the information, communication and knowledge field is proposed.  It is argued that more attention must be given to records, usually confused with information.  Descriptions are shown to be the fundamental facts behind information. Information is defined as an abstract concept, free of material or syntactic constraints.  Information is observer free but it is dependent on the shared ontological background of communities. The world may be characterized as being structured by only six components.  Knowledge is the capacity to act effectively and it is not information. Information quantity and its relation with the entropy of physical systems are shown to be more ambiguous and less important than they are usually thought of.  It is argued that information studies should move on from these old concerns to confront the vital information challenges in this globalized information society with information superabundance.

  • 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