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The Fundamental Problem of the Science of Information

Cárdenas-García, Jaime F., Ireland, Tim (2019) The Fundamental Problem of the Science of Information. Biosemiotics, 12 (2). pp. 213-244. ISSN 1875-1342. E-ISSN 1875-1350. (doi:10.1007/s12304-019-09350-2) (KAR id:72816)


The concept of information has been extensively studied and written about, yet no consensus on a unified definition of information has to date been reached. This paper seeks to establish the basis for a unified definition of information. We claim a biosemiotics perspective, based on Gregory Bateson’s definition of information, provides a footing on which to build because the frame this provides has applicability to both the sciences and humanities.

A key issue in reaching a unified definition of information is the fundamental problem of identify ing how a human o rgan ism, in a self-referential process, develops from a state in which its knowledge of the h uman-organism-in-its-environment is almost non-existent to a state in which the human organism not only recognizes the existence of the environment but also sees itself as part of the human-organism-in-its-environment system. This allows a human organism not only to self-referentially engage with the environment and navigate through it, but also to transform it i n its own image and likeness. In other words, the Fundamental Problem of the Science of Information concerns the phylogenetic development process, as well as the ontogenetic development process of Homo sapiens sapiens from a single cell to our current multicellular selves, all in a changing long-term and short-term environment, respectively.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1007/s12304-019-09350-2
Uncontrolled keywords: Science of information, Human-organism-in-its-environment, Gregory Bateson, Distributed cognition, Ecology, Communication, Shannon information, Distilled information, Bateson information.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BC Logic
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH541 Ecology
Q Science > QP Physiology (Living systems)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Depositing User: Tim Ireland
Date Deposited: 01 Mar 2019 11:48 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:35 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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