[Fis] [External Email] Re: defining information

Christophe Menant christophe.menant at hotmail.fr
Fri Mar 6 11:37:11 CET 2020

It is indeed difficult to define information as it applies to many different things. But these different things have in common to be agents, and agency may be a “key feature” of information. Take away the agent, information does not exist, has no reason of being.
And the reason of being of information is its meaning for the agent. Information exists only by its meaning for the agent which uses it to satisfy its constraints.
The agent can then be looked at as “an identifiable entity submitted to internal constraints and capable of actions for the satisfaction of the constraints” (see para 3.2.3 in https://philpapers.org/rec/MENCSA-2).
This would bring to a definition of information like “energy variation which leads an agent to generate meanings to satisfy its constraints” (looks like a rewording of “a difference that makes a difference"….)

De : Fis <fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es> de la part de Loet Leydesdorff <loet at leydesdorff.net>
Envoyé : vendredi 6 mars 2020 07:47
À : João Alvaro Carvalho <jac at dsi.uminho.pt>; fis <fis at listas.unizar.es>
Objet : Re: [Fis] [External Email] Re: defining information

I gave up looking for an unifying definition of information.
As soon I switch to another context (for example, moving from the context of organisational work to  the human mind or to the cell) the key features are different.

This problem is precisely a reason to stick to a content-free, i.e., mathematical definition of information.  Information can then further be made relevant in any special theory. The application is not dimension-free.


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