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Philosophy of information
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   THE Π  RESEARCH NETWORK   Patrick Allo, Bert Baumgaertner, Simon D’  Alfonso, Nir Fresco, Federico Gobbo, Carson Grubaugh, Andrew Iliadis, Phyllis Illari, Eric Kerr, Giuseppe Primiero, Federica Russo, Christoph Schulz, Mariarosaria  Taddeo, Matteo Turilli, Orlin Vakarelov, Hector Zenil.  T HE P HILOSOPHY OF I NFORMATION  A  N I NTRODUCTION   Version 1.0     THE Π  RESEARCH NETWORK The Philosophy of Information An Introduction The Philosophy of Information - An Introduction by The Π  Research Network is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.   THE PHILOSOPHY OF INFORMATION  —   AN INTRODUCTION Table of Contents Table of Contents 1   List of Figures 5   P REFACE  6   C ONTRIBUTORS  7   Part I: Introductory material 8   1.    A  QUICK HISTORY OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF INFORMATION  9   1.1 Introduction 9   1.2 Turing’s  basic idea 10   1.3 Shannon’s basic idea  12   1.4 Extension of the concepts 14   1.5 Cybernetics 15    1.6 Dretske 18   1.7 French Philosophy of Information 21   1.8 Conclusion 26   1.9 Exercises 26   1.10 Further reading 27    2.   W HAT IS THE PHILOSOPHY OF INFORMATION TODAY  ? 28    2.1 Introduction 28    2.2 The information revolution alters our self-understanding 29    2.3 The philosophy of information as a field 31    2.4 Open and closed questions 33    2.5 The idea of a Level of Abstraction (LoA) 36    2.6 The definition of a level of abstraction 37     2.7 The implications of LoAs 39    2.8 Exercises 41    2.9 Further reading 42   3.   N  ATURALISED INFORMATION  43   3.1 Semantic vs. natural information 43   3.2 Information channels and semanticisation 45    3.3 Environmental information 45    3.4 Equivocation 46   3.5 Digitalization and semanticisation 47    3.6 Other approaches 50   3.6a Radu Bogdan’s teleological approach  50 3.6b Quine’s naturalization of meaning  51 3.7 Summary 52   3.9 Exercises 52   3.10 Suggestions for the exercises 52   3.11 Further reading 53   Part II: Social and moral 54   4.   E THICS  55    THE PHILOSOPHY OF INFORMATION  —   AN INTRODUCTION 2 4.1 Introduction: Ethics and information 55    4.2 Historical overview 57    4.3 Towards a unified approach to information ethics 59   4.4 Floridi’s information ethics  60   4.5 The fundamental principles of Floridi’s information ethics  62   4.6 Common misconceptions and further analysis 63   4.7 Exercises 64   4.9 Further reading 65    5.   S OCIETY   66   5.1 Introduction 66   5.2 The information revolution, history and society 66   5.3 The information revolution as the fourth revolution 68  5.3a Informational organism and informational environment 68 5.4 Ethical problems of the information society 70  5.4a Online trust 70 5.4b Information warfare 72 5.5 Conclusion 75    5.6 Exercises 75    5.7 Suggestions for the exercises 75    5.8 Further reading 75    Part III: Knowledge and language 76   6.   M EANING  77   6.1 Introduction 77    6.2 The theory of meaning and the symbol grounding problem 77    6.3 Statistical approaches: Shannon and Weaver, Bar-Hillel and Carnap 80   6.4 Probabilistic approaches: Dretske 81   6.5 Semantic approaches: Levels of abstraction, and syntax 84   6.6 Pragmatic approaches 85    6.7 Intention-based semantics and computational systems 87    6.9 Conclusions 88   6.10 Exercises 88   6.11 Suggestions for the exercises 88   6.12 Further reading 89   7.   T RUTH  90   7.1 Introduction 90   7.2 The veridicality thesis 90   7.3 Arguments for the veridicality thesis 92   7.4 Reasons to reject the veridicality thesis 95    7.5 Final assessment 98   7.6 Exercises 99   7.7 Further reading 99   8.   K  NOWLEDGE  100   8.1 Introduction 100   8.2 Some background 100   8.3 Floridi’s attack on justified true belief   102   8.4 Dretske’s information -theoretic epistemology 103  
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