‘Information’ can mean many things. As someone working within the philosophy of information, I have (and sometimes argue for) my select uses of the term. Nonetheless, the term is undoubtedly attached to a range of phenomena. A nice summary of this fact is found in the Wikipedia entry on information:
Information as a concept has many meanings. The concept of information is closely related to notions of constraint, communication, control, data, form, instruction, knowledge, meaning, mental stimulus, pattern, perception, and representation. In its most restricted technical meaning, information is an ordered sequence of symbols.
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In this philosophy bites talk Luciano Floridi argues how new technology has changed our relationship to one another and to the world and how this calls for a shakeup in philosophy.
Click here to head over to the talk page.
I also just came across this video of a talk that Floridi gave on the matter:
Professorial Lecture – The Fourth Revolution: The impact of Information Technology on our lives
Who are we? And what is our role in the universe? IT is radically changing not only how we deal with the world and make sense of it, or interact with each other, but also how we look at ourselves and understand our own existence and responsibilities.
If one believes that they believe that p, then do they believe that p ()?
I was recently thinking about this property and its absence from standard systems of doxastic logic. Systems of doxastic logic rightly do not validate the property . Since they omit this axiom (commonly called the T axiom), cannot be simply derived. But although the T axiom should not be valid in a doxastic logic, it is fair to say that the axiom should be valid; if one believes that they believe that p, then they do believe that p.
This type of agent is apparently termed a stable reasoner by Raymond Smullyan:
Stable reasoner: A stable reasoner is not unstable. That is, for every p, if it believes Bp then it believes p.
A list of doxastic reasoner types can be found here
Now for something with an epistemological and value theoretical flavour, a paper I have been working on titled ‘Knowledge and Its Value: Some Suggestions as To Why Knowledge Is More Valuable Than True Belief’
I have just come across a paper by Christian Piller titled ‘Valuing Knowledge: A Deontological Approach’, which explores my last idea in depth.
Are contradictions informative? Should they be assigned a non-zero, positive informativeness measure?
One option is to simply say no and assign contradictions a predefined informativeness of 0. This is the line Floridi takes with his theory of strongly semantic information.
Continue reading “Are Contradictions Informative?”
Can misinformation be informative and if so, how? Here are some thoughts on the matter, with three ways in which misinformation can be considered informative. The first two are simply rehashes of standard facts about truth, falsity and logic explicated in informational parlance. The third is a novel point.
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For a decent introduction to theories of information and information flow, with a focus on semantic information and approaches from within philosophy, I recommend Information and Information Flow: An Introduction. Authored by Manuel Bremer and Daniel Cohnitz, it is based on a series of lectures they gave some years ago.
When I first started looking at information, I found this book to be very helpful and informative. One issue I have with the book though is that it seems to have been put together a little too hastily and as a result is somewhere in between a collection of lecture notes and a refined, replete book. Primarily it suffers from some inadequate explanations and some awkward material flow.
In line with recent literature in the philosophy of information, I define semantic content to be meaningful, well-formed data. In this paper, I outline semantic content and then show how Bochvar’s 3-valued logic can be used simply to formally reason about semantic content.
The Logic of Semantic Content