Turing's three philosophical lessons and the philosophy of information

L. Floridi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


In this article, I outline the three main philosophical lessons that we may learn from Turing's work, and how they lead to a new philosophy of information. After a brief introduction, I discuss his work on the method of levels of abstraction (LoA), and his insistence that questions could be meaningfully asked only by specifying the correct LoA. I then look at his second lesson, about the sort of philosophical questions that seem to be most pressing today. Finally, I focus on the third lesson, concerning the new philosophical anthropology that owes so much to Turing's work. I then show how the lessons are learned by the philosophy of information. In the conclusion, I draw a general synthesis of the points made, in view of the development of the philosophy of information itself as a continuation of Turing's work. This journal is © 2012 The Royal Society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3536-3542
Number of pages7
JournalPhilosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Issue number1971
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2012


  • philosophical anthropology
  • fourth revolution
  • level of abstraction
  • Shannon
  • philosophy of information


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