Philosophy of Information - Questions and Notes

A list of some philosophically motivated questions about information.

  • Information ethics. A lot could be covered in this area. Is there a right to privacy for personal information? Why would such rights exist or not? See David Brin and Transparent Society or not.
  • Creativity and information. Is information a form of property? Why should it be protected by law? Who gets the benefit of information?
  • Emergent behavior and self-organization. Is there any use to asking about the existence of truth in a system of independent agents acting on different types of information? Do groups and organizations ‘know’ different things than individuals?

Some references - information philosophy at Wikipedia. Article on Semantic Conceptions of Information in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. And a link to Luciano Floridi’s weblog, Philosophy of Information.

And finally a quote from Floridi offering a partial definition/cateorization of information, source Wikipedia article cited above.

According to Floridi, four kinds of mutually compatible phenomena are commonly referred to as “information”:

  • Information about something (e.g. a train timetable)
  • Information as something (e.g. DNA, or fingerprints)
  • Information for something (e.g. algorithms or instructions)
  • Information in something (e.g. a pattern or a constrain).