University of Hertfordshire

A Subjectivist Interpretation of Relevant Information

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Documents

  • 903254

    Accepted author manuscript, 343 KB, PDF document

  • L. Floridi
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Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWittgenstein and the Philosophy of Information
Subtitle of host publicationProcs of the 30th Int Ludwig Wittgenstein Symposium
EditorsA. Pichler, H. Hrachovec
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Publication series

NamePublications of the Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society 'new series'
Volume7

Abstract

A frequent complaint about current theories of information is that they are
utterly useless when it comes to establish the actual relevance of some specific
piece of information. As a rule, agents assume that some content is by
default an instance of information (Sperber and Wilson [1995]). What they
often wonder is whether and how far that content may contribute to the formulation of their choices and purposes, the development of their decision
processes and eventually the successful pursuit of their goals.
In light of this problem, this paper pursues two goals. The first is to provide
a subjectivist interpretation of epistemic relevance (i.e. epistemically
relevant semantic information, more on this presently), thus satisfying those
critics who lament its absence and, because of it, may be skeptical about the
utility of using information-theoretical concepts to tackle conceptual problems
and cognitive issues in real life. The second goal is to show that such a
subjectivist interpretation can (indeed must) be built on a veridical conception
of semantic information, thus vindicating a strongly semantic theory of
information (Floridi [2004b]) and proving wrong those critics who argue
that misinformation can be relevant.

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