Formal Theories of Information

Volume 5363 of the series Lecture Notes in Computer Science pp 13-53

Philosophical Conceptions of Information

  • Luciano FloridiAffiliated withUniversity of HertfordshireUniversity of Oxford

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I love information upon all subjects that come in my way, and especially upon those that are most important.

Thus boldly declares Euphranor, one of the defenders of Christian faith in Berkley’s Alciphron (Berkeley, (1732), Dialogue 1, Section 5, Paragraph 6/10). Evidently, information has been an object of philosophical desire for some time, well before the computer revolution, Internet or the pandemonium (see for example Dunn (2001) and Adams (2003)). Yet what does Euphranor love, exactly? What is information? The question has received many answers in different fields. Unsurprisingly, several surveys do not even converge on a single, unified definition of information (see for example Braman 1989, Losee (1997), Machlup and Mansfield (1983), Debons and Cameron (1975), Larson and Debons (1983)).