By José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain).

Published in: Rafael Capurro, John Holgate (eds.), Messages and Messengers – as an Approach to the Phenomenology of Communication, pp.197-229, Munich: Wilhelm Fink. DOI: 10.30965/9783846750476

Figure-6Abstract: Shannon and Weaver’s Mathematical Theory of Communication and also Kotelnikov’s Theory of Optimal Reception consider that communication is best described by the well-known model of transmission, corruption and recognition of messages known as Information Theory. However, the essential significance of the semantics and pragmatics in communication is omitted from this interpretation. Whereas Weaver considers that the same model of communication can simply be expanded, reproducing its schema in nested levels, research into culture, language and semiotics shows that the reality of communication has further requirements José María Díaz Nafría proceeds to compare this ‘transparent channel’ approach to communication to George Orwell’s Newspeak, a dystopian model of communication from the novel ‘Nineteen Eighty-Four,’ and to the theories of the French criminologist and early theoretician of public opinion, Gabriel Tarde (1901). Furthermore, he shows the connection between the related theory of optimal reception and the “truthful” recognition of forms in the Platonic tradition. Such ‘closed universes’ (of either messages or forms) are contrasted. For Diaz Nafría ‘understanding’ a message originally means the very fact of being able to provide correct answers to the possibilities offered by this message in a given situation. This ability evolves ‘over time’ from rudimentarily responding to messages, to a more complexly interpreting them.

 

By José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León)

Different senses of security and its related assumptions, methodologies and contexts are analyzed by first reviewing the liberalistic notions of security and trust, unveiling, on the one hand, the contradictions exhibited between discourse and practice; on the other hand, the historical strategy of concentration of power behind the liberalistic doctrines. The weakness, limits and implications of the liberalistic notions and methods on security and trust are inquired, and subsequently a genuine horizon of security as sustainable and general procurement of positive freedom is advocated.

The CyberSyn project successfully implemented in Chile, but tragically and prematurely ending under the hard power in the 9/11 of 1973, serves as model of the posed system approach to security. However, the system model is actualized and completed with elements of the general theory of information in virtue of: the increased complexity of societal systems, its ultimate global dimension, its biospherical closure, the increase of information assets and processes, and some epistemological boundaries. These reasons also set the need of keeping – beside the system approach – a critical and ethical stance.

José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Francisco Salto Alemany (Area of Logic and Philosophy of science, Universidad de León,Spain)

Abstract of the paper: A trans-disciplinary frame is proposed, aimed at addressing the very understanding of information in all its variety. It aims at unifying perspectives and integrating techniques from different fields of knowledge and practice, searching for the most overarching account of information phenomena, a better formalization of real processes and a global stance towards problems concerning information. Such research frame might try to answer: Which are the basic distinct accounts of information to be applied in fields from telecommunication to philosophy, from biology to documentation, from logic to quantum physics? Which are the minimum primitive concepts that may cover all of them? Is a unified theory feasible? Could a better information measure be found? Could the societal and practical interest be better preserved in an integrated perspective of information?

The methodological proposal aims at opening a space for the interweaving of different scientific frameworks (characterized by specific paradigms and methodologies) to delve into the very landscape of information, searching for a transdisciplinary treatment of theoretical, technical and practical problems concerning information. It is based on an already active interdisciplinary International community and a critical mass of research groups at the global level. By means of bridging these communities, a new transdisciplinary science of information might emerge as an integrated framework in which information will be considered in all its formal, natural, cognitive, social, technical, ethical and philosophical aspects.