José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain)

Abstract: Looking for an answer to the posed question, we will first go through a brief historical enquiry aiming at exploring the development of the uses given to the Latin word “informatio” from its Greek roots until its scientific formalisation in hands of the Mathematical Theory of Communication. Secondly and starting from the conceptual limitations of Shannon’s theory, we will put forward the most important theoretical demands claimed by many scientific and technical fields, directly concerned with the usage of information concepts. Such claims eventually entail an open critic to Shannon’s definition with different degrees of radicality, proposing a perspective change in which the different uses and disciplinary interests might be better represented. In order to foster an interdisciplinary approach aiming at gathering together the competing views of information and at bridging their theoretical and practical interests, a sketched glossary of concepts concerning information is proposed as an interdisciplinary tool.

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José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain), Basil M. Al Hadithi (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain)

At the beginning of his famous “Mathematical Theory of Communication” (MTC), Shannon removes the semantic questions from the technical task, and such exoneration seems to be commonly accepted, even for those who certainly care for ‘semantic questions’. However, the MTC communication model itself is built upon this fundamental assumption, which at the same time is used in other information theories and –even with wider practical consequences– as a design pattern for the Information Technologies.

At the present time, when human communication is more and more dependant with respect to information technologies, the suitability of the communication model used to design the technological systems has to be put into scope. None essential element needed to establish a proper human communication should be omitted; otherwise this technology could isolate people, betraying its hypothetical purpose. Comparing the technological model to others based on several pragmatic theories of communication (emerged in linguistics, semiotic, psychology and anthropology), the insufficiency of the technological model is shown, pointing out some elements that a new model should not forget.

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

José María DÍAZ NAFRÍA (Universidad Alfonso X)

Well at the beginning of his famous “Mathematical Theory of Communication” (MTC), Shannon removes from the technical task the semantic questions, and such exoneration seems to be commonly accepted, even for those who certainly care for ‘semantic questions’. However, the own MTC communication model is built upon this fundamental assumption, which at a time is used in other information theories and –with even wider practical consequences– as a design pattern for the Information Technologies.
When the human communication is more and more dependant with respect to information technologies, the suitability of the communication model used to design the technological systems has to be put into scope. Non essential element needed to establish a proper human communication should be omitted; otherwise this technology could isolate people, betraying its hypothetical purpose. Comparing the technological model to other based on several pragmatic theories of communication (emerged in linguistics, semiotic, psychology and anthropology) it is shown the insufficiency of the technological model, pointing out some elements that a new model should not forget.

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