p1-Emergence and Evolution of Meaning-TripleCBy José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain), Rainer Zimmermann (Munich University of Applied Sciences)

The category of meaning is traced forward starting from the origin of the Universe itself as well as its very grounding in pre-geometry. Different from many former approaches in the theories of information and also in biosemiotics, we will show that the forms of meaning emerge simultaneously (alongside) with information and energy. Hence, information is always meaningful (in a sense to be explicated) rather than its meaning would show up as a later specification of information within social systems only. This perspective taken has two immediate consequences: (1) We follow the GDI as defined by Floridi, though we modify it somehow as to the aspect of truthfulness. (2) We can conceptually solve Capurro’s trilemma. Hence, what we actually do is to follow the strict (i.e. optimistic) line of UTI in the sense of Hofkirchner’s. While doing this, we treat energy and information as two different categorial aspects of one and the same underlying primordial structure.

  • Full article published in TripleC, 11(1), 13-35,  Special Issue: The Difference that Makes a Difference 2011, published in Dec.2012

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 (University of León, Spain), Rainer Zimmermann (Munich University of Applied Sciences)

Though the hermeneutical cycle could be represented by the famous adagio of Heraclitus “the way up and the way down is one and the same”, in strict sense the cycle of interpretation is intrinsically irreversible. Such irreversibility is also inherent to thermodynamic and informational cycles, as well as to the evolution of complexity in the universe from the most elementary interaction of matter – as represented by spin networks – to the creation of molecules, biological structures, cognitive and social systems, as discussed in the first part. Such argued “skeleton-of-the-universe” provides as well an upwards path to the hierarchical evolution of complexity, as a downwards path to interpret and modify reality. The argued fundamentality in the emergence of regularities and meaning imposes essential constraints to the interaction with the world when we aim at interpreting it. One of these emergencies – relevant to our means of awareness – is represented by electromagnetic fields, which correspond to the regularity arising from the interaction of a more elementary level of matter. Our vision (even if assisted by microscopic techniques) is strictly constrained to the structural regularities of the electromagnetic fields. It is easy to show from the corresponding structural constraints that the world is not as we observe it. However, since we are products of the world as well – i.e. attached to the same skeleton-of-the-universe –, the very complexity of our mechanism of awareness has the possibility of creatively imagining reality, similar as the world creates it. Information – in a cognitive sense, which can be derived from a wider perspective of information in other natural processes – correspond to the actualization of this creative imagination while interacting with the world. This interaction imposes a non-reversible path in the interpretation of reality.

  • Access to the presentation at the interdisciplinary workshop on information and technology: “The Difference That Make a Difference” DTMAD-2010 at the Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, September, 2011

By Rainer Zimmermann (Munich University of Applied Sciences), José María Díaz Nafría (University of León, Spain)

In this first part of the paper, the category of meaning is traced forward starting from the origin of the Universe itself as well as its very grounding in pre-geometry. Different from many former approaches in the theories of information and also in biosemiotics, we will show that the forms of meaning emerge simultaneously (alongside) with information. Hence, information is always meaningful (in a sense to be explicated) rather than meaning showing up as a later specification of information within social systems only. This perspective taken has two immediate consequences: 1. We follow the GDI as defined by Floridi, though we modify it somehow as to the aspect of truthfulness. 2. We can conceptually solve Capurro’s trilemma. Hence, what we actually do is to follow the strict (i.e. optimistic) line of UTI in the sense of Hofkirchner’s. While doing this, we treat matter, energy, and information as three different categorial aspects of one and the same underlying primordial structure. We thus demonstrate the presently developing convergence of physics, biology, and computer science (as well as the various theories of information) in some detail and draft out a line of argument eventually leading up to the further unification of UTI and biosemiotics.

Carlos Aguilar, Lydia Sánchez & Manuel Campos (Universidad de Barcelona, Spain)

This paper presents a mathematical framework for the study of the information contained in audiovisual contents based on the development by Keith Devlin of Situation Theory. In order to obtain this framework, we present accounts of the processes carried out by agents from the reception of audiovisual contents to the extraction of information, in accordance with the definition by Israel and Perry. We finally justify why these accounts concerning the extraction of information from audiovisual content can be included as part of a mathematical formulation of Situation Theory.

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

Pedro MARIJUÁN (Foundations of Information Science)

The advancement of a new scientific perspective, information science, devoted to the study of the vast field of informational phenomena in nature and society, implies putting together a number of cognizing domains which are presently scattered away in many other disciplines. Comparable to previous scientific revolutions spurred by thermodynamics and quantum mechanics, it would be time to go beyond the classical discussions on the concept of information, and associated formal theories, and advance a “new way of thinking”. Cells, Brains, Societies, and Quantum information would be crucial arenas for this discussion. Rather than hierarchy, reduction, or unification, the catchword is unending recombination… A mature information science should offer a new panoramic view on the sciences themselves and contribute to achieve social adaptability & sustainability.

Article