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Floridi vs. Dembski: Informational structural realism vs. informational realism

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info, information, tips, icon, support Further to Luciano Floridi: Information has been the Cinderella of philosophy, reader Mario Lopez writes to mention,

I gave a short review of William Dembski’s Being as Communion in Amazon where I warn the reader not to confuse his ideas with Floridi’s Informational Structural Realism. Here is a short quote to give you an idea of Floridi’s position:

Informational realism (IR) is a version of SR. As a form of realism, it is committed to the existence of a mind-independent reality. Like ESR, it supports a first-order, minimal ontological commitment in favour of the structural properties of reality. Like OSR, it also supports a second-order, minimal ontological commitment in favour of objects understood informationally.

For those of you not familiar with these concepts. Structuralism Realism comes in two varieties, Ontic (OSR) and Epistemic (ESR). I recommend the work of James Ladyman, “Everything Must Go” and John Warrall’s “Structural Realism: The Best of Both Worlds?” (pdf).

Floridi’s paper is here.

One suspects that attempts to incorporate information into naturalism will face the same fate, more or less, as attempts to square the circle. Even if we can prove it won’t work, people who need it to work just press on.

See also: Luciano Floridi: Information has been the Cinderella of philosophy “We have always relied on Cinderella working hard in the house of philosophy. It is time to acknowledge her great services.”

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2 Replies to “Floridi vs. Dembski: Informational structural realism vs. informational realism

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    One suspects that attempts to incorporate information into naturalism will face the same fate, more or less, as attempts to square the circle. Even if we can prove it won’t work, people who need it to work just press on.

    Well, why not?

    🙂

  2. 2

    Dionisio, A little clarification. There is really nothing wrong with stating that information is mind-independent. It is another way of saying that it is perception-independent. In other words, information existed before we came around to observe/discover it. The problem arises when we attempt to naturalize (not necessarily materialize) information. Information depends on relations (binary or otherwise), but some insist that relations may obtain without relata if we remain agnostic about their objects (See James Ladyman here ).

    This is all fine from a methodological perspective, but it ignores the ontological character of theories in that the relations are supposed to give us a picture of reality from the properties and relations our theoretical entities obtain. Needless to say, the implication is that we now wind up with an infinite regress of relations and the theoretical entities that hold them (if they exist).

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