[Fis] [Fwd: Re: Information is a linguistic description of structures]--T...

Loet Leydesdorff loet at leydesdorff.net
Thu Oct 1 08:14:01 CEST 2015

in other words, it's time we confess in science just how little we know
about language, that we explore language's mysteries, and that we use our
discoveries as a crowbar to pry open the secrets of this highly contextual,
deeply relational, profoundly communicational cosmos.


Dear colleagues,


The vernacular is not sufficiently codified to contain the complexity of the
sciences. One needs specialized languages (jargons) that are based on
symbolic codification. The codes can be unpacked in elaborate language; but
they remain under re-construction. The further differentiation of codes of
communication drives the complexity and therefore the advancement of the
sciences as discursive constructs.


This cultural evolution remains rooted in and generated by the underlying
levels. For example, individuals provide variety by making new knowledge
claims. Since the selection is at the level of communication, however, this
level tends to take over control. But not as an agent; it further
differentiates into different forms of communication such as scientific
discourse, political discourse, etc. Sociologists (Parsons, Luhmann) have
proposed "symbolically generalized media of communication" which span
horizons of meaning. "Energy", for example, has a meaning in science very
different from its meaning in political discourse. Translations remain of
course possible; local organizations and agents have to integrate different
meanings in action (variation; reproduction).


In my recent paper on the Self-organization of meaning (at
http://arxiv.org/abs/1507.05251 ), I suggest to distinguish between three
levels (following Weaver): A. (Shannon-type) information processing ; B.
meaning sharing using languages; C. translations among coded communications.
The horizontal and vertical feedback and feedforward mechanisms (entropy
generation vs. redundancy generation in terms of increasing the number of
options) are further to be specified.


Hopefully, this contributes to our discussion. 







Loet Leydesdorff 

Professor Emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)

 <mailto:loet en leydesdorff.net> loet en leydesdorff.net ;
<http://www.leydesdorff.net/> http://www.leydesdorff.net/ 
Honorary Professor,  <http://www.sussex.ac.uk/spru/> SPRU, University of

Guest Professor  <http://www.zju.edu.cn/english/> Zhejiang Univ., Hangzhou;
Visiting Professor,  <http://www.istic.ac.cn/Eng/brief_en.html> ISTIC,

Visiting Professor,  <http://www.bbk.ac.uk/> Birkbeck, University of London;




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