, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 119-122
Date: 26 Jan 2011

Giovanni Sommaruga (ed): Formal Theories of Information: From Shannon to Semantic Information Theory and General Concepts of Information

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A unifying theory of information is a constantly returning theme for the sciences of the information age. The starting problem of this volume is the quest for a notion of information flexible enough to be used by each discipline and general as to satisfy the unique requirement of each individual science. “No theory can fulfil these two requirements other than a formal (mathematical) theory of information” (Sommaruga, Introduction, p. 3). Reflecting Weaver’s (1949) famous tripartite definition, the volume starts with a philosophical analysis (Floridi), then explores a significant range of syntactical (Bavaus, Calude), semantical (Kohlas and Schneuwly, Kohlas and Eichenberger, van Rooij, Seligman) and pragmatical (Devlin) approaches, aiming at a non-elusive philosophy of the information sciences. To us, this comprehensive collection offers the opportunity of reconsidering some of the recurrent themes in this area, with the restricted objective of finding a few of the items that might sha ...