Information-not-thing: further problems with and alternatives to the belief that information is physical

Proceedings of 2017 CAIS-ACSI Conference (2017)
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In this short paper, we show that a popular view in information science, information-as-thing, fails to account for a common example of information that seems physical. We then demonstrate how the distinction between types and tokens, recently used to analyse Shannon information, can account for this same example by viewing information as abstract, and discuss existing definitions of information that are consistent with this approach. Dans ce court article nous montrons qu'une vision populaire en sciences de l'information, l'information en tant qu’une chose, échoue à rendre compte d'un exemple commun d'information qui semble physique. Nous démontrons ensuite comment la distinction type/token, utilisée récemment pour analyser l'information de Shannon, peut rendre compte de ce même exemple en considérant l'information comme abstraite, et nous discutons des définitions existantes de l’information qui sont compatibles avec cette approche.

Author Profiles

Jesse David Dinneen
Humboldt University, Berlin
Christian Brauner
Bielefeld University


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