A Preliminary Non-alethic Informational Logic
Bruce Long (University of Sydney)

September 1, 2017, 11:00am - 1:00pm
Logic Group, The University of Melbourne

Old Quad
Parkville 3010


Shawn Standefer
University of Melbourne

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Bruce Long (Sydney) will present "A Preliminary Non-alethic Informational Logic" at 11 in Old Quad G10.

Abstract: The philosophy of information and prospective informational logics face more challenges than traditional classical and non-classical formal logics that must primarily deal with how the semantic and syntactic are related. In the case of information there is not only, prospectively, semantic content of information, but also informational content, and the difficulties involved with formulating informational truth theories. Much of the difficulty arises because, as numerous theorists and philosophers have noted, there’s no shortage of available theories of the nature of information itself, nor, correspondingly, of semantic information, of information(al) content, and of semantic informational content (usually no the same thing as the former). Semantic theories of information usually reference Claude Shannon’s classical quantitative theory of the measurement of information transmission, but not always. Bar Hillel and Carnap deployed Carnap’s logical probabilities in conjunction with Shannon’s source model to provide a conception of the supervenience of the alethic value of information upon possibility spaces. Fred Dretske adapted Shannon’s quantitative averaging measure of the information of a signal/source state to develop a conception of the semantic information content of a signal. Luciano Floridi has produced what he refers to as a strongly semantic theory of information according to which “semantic information encapsulates truth, exactly as knowledge does”. Pieter Adriaans has rejected the need for any additional semantic theory, claiming that there are resources enough to provide semantics in the form of models associated with Shannon’s classical statistical theory, as well as algorithmic complexity measures such the minimum description length (MDL) as those of Andre Kolmogorov.  Long (2014) rejects the idea that information must encapsulate truth and can only be true (Floridi’s veridicality thesis), and also the idea that it can be false. I will deploy this latter approach and the truth theory associated with it, along with the concept of the kind of physical operator introduced by Paul Humphries, to prefigure a preliminary (by no means complete) informational logic based upon signal transmission and information flow conceived of in basic classical Shannonian but non-statistical terms.  

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