The allure of informational explanationsRosa Cao (Stanford University)
COB 2 392
5200 N. Lake Road
Abstract: Informational explanations are offered for a wide range of phenomena. The brain processes information; genes are informational entities; and qua computational devices, brains, genes, and computers can be treated similarly. I’ll argue that informational explanations in all these domains share a common weakness: their reliance on hidden information-users renders the explanations either circular or superfluous. I’ll give illustrations of the various ways in which this deficiency is manifested. While it’s clear that we are information-using creatures, that calls for an explanation – it’s the question, not the answer.
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