[lit-ideas] Re: What is information?

  • From: Donal McEvoy <donalmcevoyuk@xxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 23 Sep 2006 16:34:26 +0100 (BST)

This is.

Quoting from 'The Oxbridge Entrance Exam Compendium Of Retorts' 
(Cp. 'Is This A Question?' 'Yes, if this is an answer.'; 'What is a risk?'
'This is').

Suspecting, btw, (1) that the question is misconceived insofar as it invites
an essentialist answer as to the essential character of information; (2)that
it is also misconceived in that it might obscure the important differences
between information at the level of World 1 (e.g. the genetic code) and at
the level of World 3 (e.g. a scientific theory); (3) that it invites an
undifferentiated notion of 'information' so that we might even suggest all
existence is equivalent with its informational content so that, more
specifically, objects are identical with their content and that content is
always 'information' or 'informational'in some sense - but that such an
extended notion of info either solves no real problem and/or creates more
problems that it appears to solve; (4) that there are contexts, including
legal ones, where it might be important to differentiate various senses of
information but we can do this, to all extents and purposes, without having
an answer to the question of what information _is_ in any more fundamental

Though this is a Popperian view I suspect Wittgensteinians of a hue might
join hands with me on this. (As might Humeans, Kantians, Buddhists etc).
Pray, and join hands, for the death of essentialism.


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