Finding an Information Concept Suited for a Universal Theory of Information

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    The view argued in this article is that if we want to define a universal concept of information covering subjective experiential and meaningful cognition - as well as intersubjective meaningful communication in nature, technology, society and life worlds - then the main problem is to decide, which epistemological, ontological and philosophy of science framework the concept of information should be based on and integrated in. All the ontological attempts to create objective concepts of information result in concepts that cannot encompass meaning and experience of embodied living and social systems. There is no conclusive evidence that the core of reality across nature, culture, life and mind is purely either mathematical, logical or of a computational nature. Therefore the core of the information concept should not only be based only on pure logical or mathematical rationality. We need to include interpretation, signification and meaning construction in our transdisciplinary framework for information as a basic aspect of reality alongside the physical, chemical and molecular biological. Dretske defines information as the content of new, true, meaningful, and understandable knowledge. According to this widely held definition information in a transdisciplinary theory cannot be ‘objective’, but has to be relativized in relation to the receiver's knowledge, as also proposed by Floridi. It is difficult to produce a quantitative statement independently of a qualitative analysis based on some sort of relation to the human condition as a semiotic animal. I therefore alternatively suggest to build information theories based on semiotics from the basic relations of embodied living systems meaningful cognition and communication. I agree with Peircean biosemiotics that all information must be part of real relational sign-processes manifesting as tokens.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalProgress in Biophysics & Molecular Biology
    Issue number3
    Pages (from-to)622-633
    Number of pages12
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Information
    • Semiotics
    • Cybersemiotics
    • Transdisciplinarity
    • Meaning
    • Phenomenology

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