2012-C&L-Information a multidimensional reality-p1By: José María Díaz Nafría (Universidad de León, Spain; Munich University of Applied Sciences, Germany)

Published in: Emilia CURRÁS & Nuria LLORET (eds.) (2012), Systems Science and Collaborative Information Systems: Theories, Practices and New Research, pp. 37-70, Hershey PA: IGI Global publication.

Abstract: Making an incursion in the forest of problems and theories of information, beyond observing a lack of mutual understanding among information theorists, we find out that information can be understood as a multifaceted reality. The variety of theories is in itself a reflection of the complex nature of information. A systematic approach to these theories, looking for common and divergent understandings render– so to speak – a cubist picture of what information really is, showing for instance its multidimensionality. In other words, when we say there is information in cables and organisms, in antennas and societies, in robots and mental states, we do not have to be mistaken: information is considered in each case in different aspects.
Delving into the nature of observation, we will find a solid ground to pose information as a bridge between objects and subjects, therefore providing the possibility to overcome the inveterate segregation of the objectivist and subjectivist understandings. As we will see, such vision also provides the possibility to articulate an understanding of information in its multifaceted reality.

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José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Mario Pérez-Montoro (Department of Information Science, University of Barcelona, Spain)

Based upon the natural limits of observation, we tackle a critical review of Dretske’s approach to information, knowledge and perception. The physics of the manifestation of an arbitrary object –tackled in Part 2 as a separate article– sets forth an informational boundary stating that information cannot be enough to support our cognitive processes. The problems do not rely –as Dretske supposes- on the lacks of the channel, but on the very nature of observation. Furthermore, Dretske’s approach –handcuffed to his maximalist support on information- presents some lacks concerning processual character of information, fuzziness of perception and knowledge, contents de dicto and conventional regularities. The posed limits and problems intend to settle new foundations for a more refined conjunction of information and knowledge.

José María Díaz Nafría (Science of Information Institute, Washington, U.S.A; Universidad de León, Spain) and Mario Pérez-Montoro (Department of Information Science, University of Barcelona, Spain)

In this second part of our inquiry into the relation between information and cognition, we delve into the physical limits of the manifestation of an arbitrary object first with independence of any observer, then considering the nature of perception. The analysis of the manifestations of an object in a homogeneous environment by means of wave phenomena shows that the information carried by such manifestations offers a constitutive fuzziness and ambiguity of the observed object. On the one hand, the details that can be specified concerning the object are strictly limited by the wave length; on the other hand, the volumetric details of the object (i.e. its bowls) are outlawed to the observer, not in virtue of the object opacity, but to the very dimension or complexity of the wave phenomenon in the space surrounding the object. The analysis of perception, considering this physical boundary and the specificity of the animal sensitivity, shows the combined role of other concurrent or previous percept and some a priori knowledge in the perception and awareness of reality.