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.

Luciano FLORIDI (Universidad Oxford)

In recent years, philosophical interest in the nature of information has been increasing steadily. In particular, one of the current debates concerns the veridical nature of semantic information. The debate –somewhat old– justifies analysing semantic information in terms of well-formed, meaningful and veridical data, which suppose that semantic information encapsulates truth.
“Semantic information” is primarily understood in terms of content about a referent. This content is analysable in terms of well-formed and meaningful data. Strings or patterns of data may constitute sentences in a natural language, but of course they can also generate formulae, maps, diagrams, videos or other semiotic constructs in a variety of physical codes, being further determined by their appropriate syntax (well-formedness) and semantics (meaningfulness). By “about a referent” one is to understand the ordinary and familiar way in which the well-formed and meaningful data, constituting semantic information, concern or address some topic. In this paper, we shall be concerned with only this standard, epistemically oriented concept of semantic information.