On Representing Information: A Characterization of the Analog/Digital Distinction

Dialectica 67 (4):455-483 (2013)
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The common account of the analog vs digital distinction is based on features of physical systems, being related to the usage of continuous vs discrete supports respectively. It is proposed here to alternatively characterize the concepts of analog and digital as related to coding systems, of which a formal definition is given, by suggesting that the distinction refers to the strategy adopted to define the coding function: extensional in digital systems, isomorphic intensional in analog systems. This thesis is supported by examples, in particular of analog systems exploiting discrete supports, and is discussed to explain why digital coding is currently so widespread in technological and social practice
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Languages of Art.Goodman, Nelson

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