The logic of design as a conceptual logic of information

Minds and Machines 27 (3):495-519 (2017)
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Abstract

In this article, I outline a logic of design of a system as a specific kind of conceptual logic of the design of the model of a system, that is, the blueprint that provides information about the system to be created. In section two, I introduce the method of levels of abstraction as a modelling tool borrowed from computer science. In section three, I use this method to clarify two main conceptual logics of information inherited from modernity: Kant’s transcendental logic of conditions of possibility of a system, and Hegel’s dialectical logic of conditions of in/stability of a system. Both conceptual logics of information analyse structural properties of given systems. Strictly speaking, neither is a conceptual logic of information about the conditions of feasibility of a system, that is, neither is a logic of information as a logic of design. So, in section four, I outline this third conceptual logic of information and then interpret the conceptual logic of design as a logic of requirements, by introducing the relation of “sufficientisation”. In the conclusion, I argue that the logic of requirements is exactly what we need in order to make sense of, and buttress, a constructionist approach to knowledge.

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Luciano Floridi
Oxford University

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