[Fis] defining information - Goal, Methodology, Steps ...

Krassimir Markov markov at foibg.com
Fri Mar 6 19:25:57 CET 2020

Spring Season Greetings !

С Наступающей Весной !

Честита Баба Марта!

Dear Pedro and Colleagues,

First of all, I apologize again to Yixin for asking postponing this discussion and to Joseph for my silence in January. 

As you all see now, this one is very intensive and it was possible to interrupt the New Year Lecture of Joseph. 

In addition, Joseph had moderated it very nice and we receive very good collection of examples of disinformation, misinformation and etc. 

>From my point of view, it is just what we need now.

Well, let’s go further.

1. What is our goal - to give one or more definitions of concept “information” or to establish useful information theories to be applied to practical domains to understand and solve real problems? 

>From my point of view - the last is our goal. 

Because of this it doesn’t matter how much definitions we will have. 

It is important to see that the concrete definition may be applied to a concrete domain to explain a concrete phenomenon.

In other words, I expect to see examples as more as possible.

2. We need methodological knowledge to establish new concepts and theories. 

First of all, we need to clear what kind is our new concept - primary or secondary. 

Concerning the concept “information”, it may be introduced as a primary, as well as, as a secondary concept.

If it is a primary concept, it has to be introduces by series of well known examples.

If it is a secondary concept, the primary concepts, which will define it, need to be chosen precisely and again to be introduced by corresponded series of examples.

For me, the “information” is a secondary concept! 

If we assume it as a primary concept, it will be direct way to well known concepts of “Got” and modern variants, such as “Information-space-time continuum”. 

If one believes in “Information”, he/she may explain many of real phenomena. 

But in the same time, he/she will fall down in some kind of dogma. (Dear Gordana, elections are the same case!).

3. I propose to follow the next steps when we propose definitions of “information”:

1) to point clearly if it is a primary or a secondary concept;

2) if it is a primary concept, to stop further discussion and to try to understand the examples given by the author(s);

3) in the second case, to introduce clearly the primary concepts and step by step to present the theory.

4. No problems if we will have many theories for the same phenomenon. 

It is well known that, for instance, the Geometry is not a single theory. 

You may know at least several geometries:

- Euclidean (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Euclidean_geometry);

- Non-Euclidean: hyperbolic or elliptic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-Euclidean_geometry);

- Spherical geometry (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spherical_geometry),


This point of view, in 1993, I had included in the name of the first ITHEA® International Journal calling it “Information Theories and Applications” .

Friendly greetings


PS: The situation with many definitions we have now is not new. 

For instance, in a letter written to Philip Jourdain in 1914, Gottlob Frege had written:

“Let us suppose an explorer travelling in an unexplored country sees a high snow-capped mountain on the northern horizon.

By making inquiries among the natives he learns that its name is 'Aphla'. 

By sighting it from different points he determines its position as exactly as possible, enters it in a map, and writes in his diary: 'Aphla is at least 5000 meters high'.

Another explorer sees a snow-capped mountain on the southern horizon and learns that it is called Ateb. He enters it in his map under this name.

Later comparison shows that both explorers saw the same mountain. Now the content of the proposition 'Ateb is Aphla' is far from being a mere consequence of the principle of identity, but contains a valuable piece of geographical knowledge. 

What is stated in the proposition 'Ateb is Aphla' is certainly not the same thing as the content of the proposition 'Ateb is Ateb'.

Now if what corresponded to the name 'Aphla' as part of the thought was the reference of the name and hence the mountain itself, then this would be the same in both thoughts. 

The thought expressed in the proposition 'Ateb is Aphla' would have to coincide with the one in 'Ateb is Ateb', which is far from being the case. What corresponds to the name 'Ateb' as part of the thought must therefore be different from what corresponds to the name 'Aphla' as part of the thought. This cannot therefore be the reference which is the same for both names, but must be something which is different in the two cases, and I say accordingly that the sense of the name 'Ateb' is different from the sense of the name 'Aphla'.

Accordingly, the sense of the proposition 'Ateb is at least 5000 meters high' is also different from the sense of the proposition 'Aphla is at least 5000 meters high'. Someone who takes the latter to be true need not therefore take the former to be true. An object can be determined in different ways, and every one of these ways of determining it can give rise to a special name, and these different names then have different senses; for it is not self-evident that it is the same object which is being determined in different ways.

We find this in astronomy in the case of planetoids and comets. Now if the sense of a name was something subjective, then the sense of the proposition in which the name occurs, and hence the thought, would also be something subjective, and the thought one man connects with this proposition would be different from the thought another man connects with it; a common store of thoughts, a common science would be impossible.

It would be impossible for something one man said to contradict what another man said, because the two would not express the same thought at all, but each his owns.

For these reasons I believe that the sense of a name is not something subjective (crossed out: in one's mental life), that it does not therefore belong to psychology, and that it is indispensable” [Frege, 1980].

What is important in this example is [Ivanova et al, 2013c]:

―     The names Ateb and Aphla refer different parts of the same natural object (mountain, let call it Pirrin);

―     The position of the referred object (mountain) is fixed by any artificial system (geographical co-ordinates, address) which is another name of the same object;

―     The names and the address correspond one to another and both to the real object but without the explorer’s map, respectively – the explorer’s diary, it is impossible to restore the correspondence;

―     At the end, the names Ateb and Aphla are connected hierarchically to the name Pirrin and the relations are:

o   Aphla is_a_South_Side_of Pirrin;

o   Ateb is_a_North_Side_of Pirrin.

The last case forms a simple vocabulary:

     The South Side of Pirrin mountain
     The North Side of Pirrin mountain
     A mountain in the unexplored country with co-ordinates (x,y)

In addition, all cases given above form a simple ontology with four concepts which may be represented by a graph diagram:

For those who are familiar with Theory of categories, it is clear that this diagram is commutative and represents a Category. 

This gives us the idea that the concept “information” could be defined using the Category theory. 

Yep, one more definition!!!

Dear Gordana and Christophe, please don’t worry - of course it takes in account the agent’s mind. 

But this is for another letter J ...


[Frege, 1980] Frege G., “An extract from an undated letter”, published in Frege's Philosophical and Mathematical Correspondence (ed.) Gottfried Gabriel, Hans Hermes. Friedrich Kanbartel. Christian Thiel, and Albert Veraart, Abridged for the English (edn.), by Brian MeGuinness, and Trans. Hans Kaal (Oxford: Blackwell. 1980), http://mind.ucsd.edu/syllabi/00-01/phil235/a_readings/frege_jourdain.html (accessed: 15.11.2012).

[Ivanova et al, 2013c] Krassimira B. Ivanova, Koen Vanhoof, Krassimir Markov, Vitalii Velychko, “Storing Dictionaries and Thesauruses Using NL-Addressing”, International Journal "Information Models and Analyses" Vol.2, Number 3, 2013, ISSN 1314-6416 (printed), 1314-6432(online), pp. 239 - 251.

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listas.unizar.es/pipermail/fis/attachments/20200306/5c44ca3f/attachment-0001.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: clip_image002[2].gif
Type: application/octet-stream
Size: 5372 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://listas.unizar.es/pipermail/fis/attachments/20200306/5c44ca3f/attachment-0002.obj>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: image[4].png
Type: application/octet-stream
Size: 19308 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://listas.unizar.es/pipermail/fis/attachments/20200306/5c44ca3f/attachment-0003.obj>

More information about the Fis mailing list