Luciano Floridi: Information has been the Cinderella of philosophy
|April 8, 2017||Posted by News under Information, Intelligent Design, Philosophy|
From Luciano Floridi at New Atlantis:
Information is, in a way, the Cinderella in the history of philosophy. Any philosophy of knowledge, no matter whether ordinary (epistemology) or scientific (philosophy of science) requires an understanding of information — for instance in discussions of sensory perception and knowledge acquisition. There is no ethics without choices, responsibilities, and moral evaluations, all of which need a lot of relevant and reliable information and quite a good management of it. Logic was first a matter of the study of arguments, and then of mathematical proofs, but today it is also if not mainly a question of information extraction, transmission, and dynamics, and some branches of logic are really branches of information theory. Ontology, the study of the nature of being, would be meaningless without informational patterns — real, virtual, necessary, possible, or even impossible. The philosophy of mind needs informational mental states, and the philosophy of language without communication of information is pointless. Any philosophy of the logos is a philosophy of information, and Christian philosophy of religion is inconceivable without the informational concept of revelation. The list could be extended and refined to aesthetics, hermeneutics, philosophy of biology, philosophy of physics, and so forth, but the point is clear. To paraphrase Molière, Western philosophy has been speaking informationally without knowing it for twenty-five centuries. We have always relied on Cinderella working hard in the house of philosophy. It is time to acknowledge her great services, by designing the philosophy of our time to be properly conceptualized for our time. More.
Sure, but these days, Floridi will probably bump into a tenured asshat who claims, to much applause, that information doesn’t really exist or is a physical quantity.
See also: Glimmer: Information is not physical, not like matter or energy
New Scientist on information: More fundamental than matter and energy? Are they growing up over there?
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