Anthony F. Beavers


The term “information” and its various meanings across several domains have spawned a growing research area in the discipline of philosophy known as the philosophy of information (PI). The following briefly outlines a taxonomy of the field addressing: 1) what is the philosophy of information; 2) what is information; 3) open problems in the philosophy of information; 4) paradoxes of information; 5) philosophy as the philosophy of information; 6) information metaphysics; and 7) information ethics.


Philosophy of information. Information.

Texto completo:



References (and further reading)

Bar-Hillel, Y. and Carnap, R. (1952) ‘An Outline of a Theory of Semantic Information’, Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. (A reaction to Shannon and others in which semantic information is analyzed according to logical probability functions. The seminal paper on semantic information.)

Barwise, J. and Seligman, J. (1997) Information Flow: The Logic of Distributed Systems, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (Develops a workable definition for the term information, among other things.)

Beavers, A. and Jones, D. (eds.) (2014) Philosophy in the Age of Information: A Symposium on Luciano Floridi’s Philosophy of Information, Special issue of Minds and Machines 24.1. (A compendium of assessments regarding Floridi 2011a.)

Deacon, T. (2010) ‘What is Missing from Theories of Information’, in P. Davies and N. Gregersen (eds.) Information and the Nature of Reality: From Physics to Metaphysics, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (Addresses the role of absent information in its relation to physical causation.)

Deacon, T. (2011) Incomplete Nature: How Mind Emerged from Matter, New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company. (An application of information theory to biological systems in order to explain the evolution of mind and consciousness.)

Dretske, F. (1981) Knowledge and the Flow of Information, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (Treats the relationship between information theory, epistemology and the philosophy of mind.)

Floridi, L. (1999) ‘Information Ethics: On the Philosophical Foundation of Computer Ethics’, Ethics and Information Technology 1 (1): 37-56. (The seminal information ethics paper in which Floridi presents his ecoinformational environmentalism.)

Floridi, L. (2010a) Information: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (A beginner’s guide to information and various related problems.)

Floridi, L. (ed.) (2010b) The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. (An introduction to information ethics by Floridi and a compendium of applied issues addressed from multiple perspectives.)

Floridi, L. (2011a) The Philosophy of Information, Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. (An attempt to comprehend the philosophy of information as first philosophy and use it as such to address several unresolved philosophical problems.)

Floridi, L. (2011b) ‘Semantic Conceptions of Information’, in E. N. Zalta, (ed.) The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2011 Edition). URL = . (A detailed account of various approaches to semantic information.)

Hintikka, J. (1970). ‘Information, Deduction and the A Priori’, Noûs 4 (2): 135-152. (Defines information from several perspectives and offers a fundamental distinction between depth and surface information to address questions concerning a priori knowledge in epistemology.)

Kurzweil, R. (2005) The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, New York, NY: Penguin Books. (A popularized account of the future due to changes in information and bio- technologies that is often discounted by scholars.)

McLuhan, M. (1962) The Gutenburg Galaxy: The Making of Typographical Man, Toronto: The University of Toronto Press. (A seminal text in the study of communication and how it affects the global community and the human’s place within it.)

Shannon, C. (1948) ‘A Mathematical Theory of Communication’, Bell System Technical Journal 27, 379-423 & 623-656. (The seminal paper in information theory, a quantitative treatment of information.)

Shannon, C. and Weaver, W. (1949) The Mathematical Theory of Communication, Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. (A reworked version of the above with an introductory chapter by Weaver.)

Wheeler, J. (1990) ‘Information, Physics, Quantum: The Search for Links’ in W. Zurek (ed.) Complexity, Entropy, and the Physics of Information, Redwood City, CA: Addison-Wesley. (The paper in which “It from bit” is formulated.)

Wiener, N. (1948) Cybernetics or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. (The seminal text on information control systems with ties to information theory.)

Wiener, N. (1950) The Human Use of Human Beings: Cybernetics and Society, Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. (A version of the above for lay readers.)

Zuse, K. (1967/1969) Calculating Space, Cambridge, MA: MIT Technical Translation AZT-70-164-GEMIT. (A translation of Rechnender Raum in which Zuse presents his vision of a computational physics based on digital particles and in which the universe is comprehended as a cellular automaton.)


BAR-HILLEL, Y.; CARNAP, R. An outline of a theory of semantic information. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1952. (Technical Report, 247). Disponível em: . Acesso em: 08 ago. 2016.

BARWISE, J.; SELIGMAN, J. Information flow: the logic of distributed systems, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1997.

BEAVERS, A.; JONES, D. (Ed.). Philosophy in the age of information: a symposium on Luciano Floridi’s Philosophy of Information. Minds and Machines, v.24, n.1, 2014. (Editorial que apresenta o número especial da revista com textos que respondem a questões floridianas).

DEACON, T. What is missing from theories of information. In: DAVIES, P.; GREGERSEN, N. (Ed.). Information and the nature of reality: from physics to metaphysics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

DEACON, T. Incomplete nature: how mind emerged from matter. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011.

DRETSKE, F. Knowledge and the flow of information. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1981.

FLORIDI, L. Information Ethics: on the philosophical foundation of computer ethics. Ethics and Information Technology, v. 1, n.1, p. 37-56, 1999. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 08 ago. 2016. Versão atualizada disponível em: .

FLORIDI, L. Information: a very short introduction. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2010a.

FLORIDI, L. (Ed.). The Cambridge handbook of information and computer ethics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2010b.

FLORIDI, L. The Philosophy of Information. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2011a.

FLORIDI, L. Semantic conceptions of information. In: ZALTA, E.N. (Ed.). The Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2011b. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 08 ago. 2016.

HINTIKKA, J. Information, deduction and the a priori. Noûs, v. 4, n. 2, p. 135-152, 1970.

KURZWEIL, R. The singularity is near: when humans transcend biology. New York, NY: Penguin

Books, 2005.

MCLUHAN, M. The Gutenburg Galaxy: the making of typographical man. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 1962.

SHANNON, C. A mathematical theory of communication. Bell System Technical Journal, v. 27, p. 379-423 & 623-656, Jul./Oct. 1948. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 08 ago. 2016.

SHANNON, C.; WEAVER, W. The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press, 1949. Disponível em: http://raley.english.ucsb.edu/wp-content/Engl800/Shannon-Weaver.pdf >. Acesso em: 08 ago. 2016.

WHEELER, J. Information, physics, quantum: the search for links. In: ZUREK, W. (Ed.) Complexity, entropy, and the physics of information. Redwood City, CA: Addison-Wesley, 1990.

WIENER, N. Cybernetics or control and communication in the animal and the machine. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1948. Disponível em: < http://www.allen-riley.com/utopia/cybernetics.pdf >. Acesso em 08 ago. 2016.

WIENER, N. The human use of human beings: cybernetics and society. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1950. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 08 ago. 2016.

ZUSE, K. Calculating space. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1967/1969. (MIT Technical Translation AZT-70-164-GEMIT, 1969). Disponível em: < ftp://ftp.idsia.ch/pub/juergen/zuserechnenderraum.pdf>. Acesso em: 08 ago. 2016.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21728/logeion.2016v3n1.p16-28


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