[Fis] [External Email] Re: defining information

Lars-Göran Johansson Lars-Goran.Johansson at filosofi.uu.se
Fri Mar 6 11:57:15 CET 2020

Lars-Göran Johansson
lars-goran.johansson at filosofi.uu.se<mailto:lars-goran.johansson at filosofi.uu.se>

6 mars 2020 kl. 11:37 skrev Christophe Menant <christophe.menant at hotmail.fr<mailto:christophe.menant at hotmail.fr>>:

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 inhttps://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"….)

Using the term ’agent’ in the definition of information just highlights Wittgenstein’s point. What is the common characteristics for all things called ’agents’? And ’generate meanings’? What is that?

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