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

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.

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Rafael CAPURRO (Stuttgart Medien University)

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

Article (Spanish)

J.M. SAGÜILLO (Universidad Santiago de Compostela)

One of the multiple meanings of the word ‘information’ is given implicitly in the postulates and conditions of information-theoretic logic (I-T-L). The tradition of looking at logical phenomena from an informational stance goes back as far as the XIX century. Logicians such as Boole, De Morgan, Jevons, and Venn already suggested that deducing is a sort of unpacking the information already contained in given premises. In the XX century this tradition is recovered by Carnap and Bar Hillel, Cohen and Nagel, and more recently by Corcoran. John Corcoran has articulated a specific information-theoretic viewpoint of logic with its own particular characteristics. I intend to explain the basic ideas of I-T-L by motivating their philosophical underpinnings. One desideratum is to complement and to shed light on some of the philosophical shortcomings of the nowadays paradigmatic model-theoretic concept of logical consequence. Another is to provide a brief sample of questions to be newly addressed form the I-T-L, such as insufficiency as well as redundancy of information in a given axiom-set.

Article

Margarita VÁZQUEZ (Universidad La Laguna)

In this paper, I analyze 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 logics.

Article

Juan Carlos FERNÁNDEZ-MOLINA (Universidad de Granada)

Two competing perspectives of information are analysed. First, the opposition among considering it a human right, so all people should access to it regardless of their economic power, or a commodity, to which only can access who can pay for it. In the same vein, the dichotomy between private or shared property of information is examined, specially meaningful in the intellectual property and copyright legislation field.

Article

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.

Article

Mario PÉREZ-MONTORO (Universidad Barcelona)

One of the most visible phenomena taking place within the field of economics in the past decades concerns the growing importance and value that information has acquired within the context of organizations. This value is based conceptually on the critical distinction between the following concepts: data, information, knowledge and document. However, this distinction exhibits a deep conceptual confusion that has hindered its adequate use (conceptual and pragmatic) in organizational contexts. This paper’s goal is to show some clarification relative to this distinction. On the one hand, this article characterizes the standard model and evaluates its limitations. On the other hand, this work presents an alternative analysis of the concepts of data, information and knowledge. Finally, it offers a description of the role of the concept of document in this conceptual context.

Article

Roberto GEJMAN (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)

This paper proposes a set of distinctions that may be helpful for the classification and taxonomy of the various theories, approaches, ideas and definitions of the concept of information. It hopes to offer a place as neutral as possible to locate, compare, classify and discuss the quite large amount of those developments. The main benefit is to be able to clean up the discussion from dialogues that expend a lot of time and energy in getting at a name consensus, naming ideas or classes of entities, instead of discussing the deep nature of those ideas or entities.
The paper suggest that most known approaches may be expressed in terms of the underlying distinctions and concludes that after giving consensus names to those dis-tinctions, a unified information and knowledge theory may be build.

Article