[Fis] [External Email] Re: defining information

Loet Leydesdorff loet at leydesdorff.net
Fri Mar 6 12:23:54 CET 2020

>Take away the agent, information does not exist, has no reason of 
>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.
Indeed, information does not "exist"; nevertheless one can specify an 
expected information value. The inference that information exists as 
meaning is unwarranted, in my opinion.  One can perhaps find there a 
footprint of the information.  Information remains res cogitans.

Weaver (1949, p. 8):
"The word information, in this (that is, Shannon's) theory, is used in a 
special sense that must not be confused with its ordinary usage. In 
particular, information must not be confused with meaning."


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