Information: Does it Have To Be True?
- Cite this article as:
- Fetzer, J.H. Minds and Machines (2004) 14: 223. doi:10.1023/B:MIND.0000021682.61365.56
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Luciano Floridi (2003) offers a theory of information as a “strongly semantic” notion, according to which information encapsulates truth, thereby making truth a necessary condition for a sentence to qualify as “information”. While Floridi provides an impressive development of this position, the aspects of his approach of greatest philosophical significance are its foundations rather than its formalization. He rejects the conception of information as meaningful data, which entails at least three theses – that information can be false; that tautologies are information; and, that “It is true that ...” is non-redundant – appear to be defensible. This inquiry offers various logical, epistemic, and ordinary-language grounds to demonstrate that an account of his kind is too narrow to be true and that its adoption would hopelessly obscure crucial differences between information, misinformation, and disinformation.