Archive for December, 2010

Natural Information Without Truth

Monday, December 20th, 2010

In Information Without Truth, the Veridicality Thesis for both natural (environmental) and non-natural (semantic) information is rejected.

The Veridicality Thesis for Natural Information (VTN) can be stated:


(VTN) If a signal s being F carries natural information about an object o being G, then o is G.

This is like Dretske’s definition of information flow, and it entails that if an agent A has natural information about an object o being G when they receive a signal of s being F, then o is G.

Contrary to this, in Information Without Truth a Probability Raising Thesis for Natural Information (PRTN) is given, where the transmission of natural information involves nothing more than the truth of the following probabilistic claim:


(PRTN) If a signal s being F carries natural information about an object o being G, then P(o is G | s is F) > P(o is G | \neg (s is F))

It should be noted that they footnote this definition with the following:

One of us has argued that signal s being F can also carry (negative) natural information about o being G by lowering the probability that o is G.

So what would a general definition about carrying natural information look like? It seems to me that something like this would do the job:


If a signal s being F carries natural information about an object o being G, then P(o is G) \neq P(o is G | s is F)

New Book on The Philosophy of Information

Sunday, December 19th, 2010

http://ukcatalogue.oup.com/product/9780199232383.do

Luciano Floridi presents a book that will set the agenda for the philosophy of information. PI is the philosophical field concerned with (1) the critical investigation of the conceptual nature and basic principles of information, including its dynamics, utilisation, and sciences, and (2) the elaboration and application of information-theoretic and computational methodologies to philosophical problems. This book lays down, for the first time, the conceptual foundations for this new area of research. It does so systematically, by pursuing three goals. Its metatheoretical goal is to describe what the philosophy of information is, its problems, approaches, and methods. Its introductory goal is to help the reader to gain a better grasp of the complex and multifarious nature of the various concepts and phenomena related to information. Its analytic goal is to answer several key theoretical questions of great philosophical interest, arising from the investigation of semantic information.