The Logic of Being Misinformed

Have just uploaded a draft of a paper I am working on, titled ‘The Logic of Being Misinformed’, which can be downloaded here. Feedback welcome. Following is the abstract:

It is well established that the states of knowledge and belief have been captured using systems of modal logic. Referred to respectively as epistemic and doxastic modal logics, they have been studied extensively in the literature. In a relatively recent paper entitled ‘The Logic Of Being Informed’, Luciano Floridi does the same for the state of being informed, giving a logic of being informed also based on modal logic. In this information logic (IL), the statement Iap stands for ‘a is informed that p‘ or ‘a holds the information that p‘. After a review of Floridi’s logic of being informed, including an explication of the central concept of semantic information, I go on to develop a complementary logic of being misinformed, which formally captures the relation `a is misinformed that p‘.

A Question Concerning Data

The rejection of dataless information in accordance with the General Definition of Information leads to the following modest thesis of ontological neutrality:

There can be no information without data representation.

This thesis can be, and often is, interpreted materialistically, with the equation of representation and physical implementation leading to the following:

There can be no data representation without physical implementation.

which leads to

There can be no information without physical implementation.

This is the view of Landauer. A related discussion of the matter can be found here.

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Epistemology and the Value of Knowledge

The Value of Knowledge and the Pursuit of Survival, a paper I have just looked at which impressively supports the view that knowledge is more valuable than mere true belief, a view which I support.

A copy of the draft from the author’s website can be found here.

Being a proponent of informational epistemology, one of the things that interests me is how informational accounts of knowledge and general informational notions applied to epistemology can address the Value Problem in epistemology.

Dissecting the General Definition of Information (GDI)

According to the General Definition of Information (GDI), X is an instance of information, understood as semantic content if and only if (1) X consists of n data, for n >= 1 (2) the data are well-formed (3) the well-formed data are meaningful. So information is made of data, whose nature is itself an interesting topic. ‘Well-formed’ here means that the data are composed according to the rules (syntax) governing the chosen system in question and ‘meaningful’ means that the well-formed data comply with the meanings (semantics) of the chosen system. All this seems straightforward enough, though it does raise some questions.

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The Meaning and Etymology of ‘Information’

‘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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Luciano Floridi on the Fourth Revolution

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.

Are Contradictions Informative?

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.

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