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.

José María Díaz Nafría & Francisco Salto Alemany (Universidad de León)

This issue poses the question: what information really is. The reality or way of being of information is called into question. Consider for a moment we were to ask what digestion really is. Digestion might be considered as a complex collection of biochemical processes allowing for many distinct levels of analysis in reality: molecular, atomic, quantum… Let d be a coherent complete description of such processes. Is digestion really d? It seems not, since our particular experience of digestion, our digesting, also seems to be part of what digestion “really” is. Moreover, we may ask whether digestion really occurs only within the organism, or rather there are external social phenomena determining what digestion “really” is. Regarding digestion there are also norms, values, indeed also ethical values, expectations and practices that are also part of what digestion “really” is. Reality is many sided and seems to include, from a manifest viewpoint, facts and also further nonfactual elements.


Rafael CAPURRO (Stuttgart Medien University)

This text provides an overview of the complex history of the notion of information in the Greek-Latin as well as in the Medieval and Modern traditions. It connects the Latin etymology of the term information with the Greek concepts of eidos/idea and morphé and shows how the objective meaning of information (‘giving form to something’) becomes obsolete in modernity where only the communicational meaning (‘telling something to someone’) remains.
Information theories in the 20th Century are related to the development of technical systems of message transmission. They give rise to a renaissance of the objective notion of information but under a different framework as the one of classic pre-modern philosophy.
Establishing a connection between the concepts of informa-tion and message several options are presented leading to a notion of information based on a theory of messages.

Article (Spanish)

Carlos AGUILAR, Lydia SANCHEZ & Manuel CAMPOS (Universidad de Barcelona)

This paper presents a mathematically solid framework for the study of audio-visual 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 the audio-visual content 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 audio-visual content can be included as part of a mathematical formulation of situation theory.