[Fis] defining information - The fate of new concepts. Better examples

Joseph Brenner joe.brenner at bluewin.ch
Sat Mar 7 10:17:56 CET 2020

Dear Krassimir, Dear All,

With due respect to colleagues who have collated former concepts of
information, I continue to feel they have been inadequate. This is why
Krassimir’s call for new concepts and theories, even if it has been made
before, is more valuable and should be followed-up.

I myself have presented, again, a new concept which has not yet received
discussion: it is that views of information as constituted by a certain of
numerical and/or semantic ‘particles’ does not reflect either its
structure or its function. If this is not tenable, then at least I think I,
as would everyone on this list, have a right to know why.

Terry and Gordana, as well as Stan, have attempted to ‘capture’
information within the stiff, formal brackets of the subsumption hierarchy,
investigated most thoroughly by Stan.

I have claimed and will continue to claim that this is impossible.
Information in progress/as process has too many non-linear, partly a-logical
characteristics, partly irrational and contradictory, to be imprisoned in
this way.

I would like to ask Krassimir, if information is defined as I have above, if
he would still consider it ‘secondary’? Or, rather, whether the use of
something like my concepts, if improved of course, would enable recovery of
the concept of information for more serious use? One of the signs of such
additional seriousness would be the use of examples for analysis and
discussion that are not the simplest predicate-object sentences.

Thank you and best regards,



From: Fis [mailto:fis-bounces at listas.unizar.es] On Behalf Of Krassimir
Sent: vendredi, 6 mars 2020 19:26
Subject: [Fis] defining information - Goal, Methodology, Steps ...

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

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

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 “God” and modern variants, such as “Information-space-time

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

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

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

- 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(r) 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

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 :-) ...


[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),
(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.

L'absence de virus dans ce courrier electronique a ete verifiee par le logiciel antivirus Avast.
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