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

p1-Emergence and Evolution of Meaning-Part 1By 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 starting from the origin of the Universe itself as well as its very grounding in pre-geometry (the second part deals with an appropriate bottom-up approach). In contrast to 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 can be visualized as being always meaningful (in a sense to be explicated) rather than visualizing meaning 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. 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.

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.

Luciano Floridi (Research Chair in Philosophy of Information and GPI, University of Hertfordshire, Faculty of Philosophy and IEG, University of Oxford, U.K.)

The article develops a correctness theory of truth (CTT) for semantic information. After the introduction, in section two, semantic information is shown to be translatable into propositional semantic information (i). In section three, i is polarised into a query (Q) and a result (R), qualified by a specific context, a level of abstraction and a purpose. This polarization is normalised in section four, where [Q + R] is transformed into a Boolean question and its relative yes/no answer [Q + A]. This completes the reduction of the truth of i to the correctness of A. In sections five and six, it is argued that (1) A is the correct answer to Q if and only if (2) A correctly saturates (in a Fregean sense) Q by verifying and validating it (in the computer science’s sense of “verification” and “validation”); that (2) is the case if and only if (3) [Q + A] generates an adequate model (m) of the relevant system (s) identified by Q; that (3) is the case if and only if (4) m is a proxy of s (in the computer science’s sense of “proxy”) and (5) proximal access to m commutes with the distal access to s (in the category theory’s sense of “commutation”); and that (5) is the case if and only if (6) reading/writing (accessing, in the computer science’s technical sense of the term) m enables one to read/write (access) s. The last section draws a general conclusion about the nature of CTT as a theory for systems designers not just systems users.