Philosophy of information

The philosophy of information (PI) is a branch of philosophy that studies topics relevant to computer science, information science and information technology.

It includes:

  1. the critical investigation of the conceptual nature and basic principles of information, including its dynamics, utilisation and sciences
  2. the elaboration and application of information-theoretic and computational methodologies to philosophical problems.[1]

History

The philosophy of information (PI) has evolved from the philosophy of artificial intelligence, logic of information, cybernetics, social theory, ethics and the study of language and information.

Logic of information

The logic of information, also known as the logical theory of information, considers the information content of logical signs and expressions along the lines initially developed by Charles Sanders Peirce.

Cybernetics

One source for the philosophy of information can be found in the technical work of Norbert Wiener, Alan Turing (though his work has a wholly different origin and theoretical framework), William Ross Ashby, Claude Shannon, Warren Weaver, and many other scientists working on computing and information theory back in the early 1950s. See the main article on Cybernetics.

Some important work on information and communication was done by Gregory Bateson and his colleagues.

Study of language and information

Later contributions to the field were made by Fred Dretske, Jon Barwise, Brian Cantwell Smith, and others.

The Center for the Study of Language and Information (CSLI) was founded at Stanford University in 1983 by philosophers, computer scientists, linguists, and psychologists, under the direction of John Perry and Jon Barwise.

P.I.

More recently this field has become known as the philosophy of information. The expression was coined in the 1990s by Luciano Floridi, who has published prolifically in this area with the intention of elaborating a unified and coherent, conceptual frame for the whole subject.

Definitions of "information"

The concept information has been defined by several theorists.

Peirce

Charles S. Peirce's theory of information was embedded in his wider theory of symbolic communication he called the semeiotic, now a major part of semiotics. For Peirce, information integrates the aspects of signs and expressions separately covered by the concepts of denotation and extension, on the one hand, and by connotation and comprehension on the other.

Shannon and Weaver

Claude E. Shannon, for his part, was very cautious: "The word 'information' has been given different meanings by various writers in the general field of information theory. It is likely that at least a number of these will prove sufficiently useful in certain applications to deserve further study and permanent recognition. It is hardly to be expected that a single concept of information would satisfactorily account for the numerous possible applications of this general field." (Shannon 1993, p. 180). Thus, following Shannon, Weaver supported a tripartite analysis of information in terms of (1) technical problems concerning the quantification of information and dealt with by Shannon's theory; (2) semantic problems relating to meaning and truth; and (3) what he called "influential" problems concerning the impact and effectiveness of information on human behaviour, which he thought had to play an equally important role. And these are only two early examples of the problems raised by any analysis of information.

A map of the main senses in which one may speak of information is provided by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article. The previous paragraphs are based on it.

Bateson

Gregory Bateson defined information as "a difference that makes a difference".[2] which is based on Donald M. MacKay: information is a distinction that makes a difference.[3]

Floridi

According to Luciano Floridi, four kinds of mutually compatible phenomena are commonly referred to as "information":

  • Information about something (e.g. a train timetable)
  • Information as something (e.g. DNA, or fingerprints)
  • Information for something (e.g. algorithms or instructions)
  • Information in something (e.g. a pattern or a constraint).

The word "information" is commonly used so metaphorically or so abstractly that the meaning is unclear.

Philosophical directions

Computing and philosophy

Recent creative advances and efforts in computing, such as semantic web, ontology engineering, knowledge engineering, and modern artificial intelligence provide philosophy with fertile ideas, new and evolving subject matters, methodologies, and models for philosophical inquiry. While computer science brings new opportunities and challenges to traditional philosophical studies, and changes the ways philosophers understand foundational concepts in philosophy, further major progress in computer science would only be feasible when philosophy provides sound foundations for areas such as bioinformatics, software engineering, knowledge engineering, and ontologies.

Classical topics in philosophy, namely, mind, consciousness, experience, reasoning, knowledge, truth, morality and creativity are rapidly becoming common concerns and foci of investigation in computer science, e.g., in areas such as agent computing, software agents, and intelligent mobile agent technologies.

According to Luciano Floridi "[4] one can think of several ways for applying computational methods towards philosophical matters:

  1. Conceptual experiments in silico: As an innovative extension of an ancient tradition of thought experiment, a trend has begun in philosophy to apply computational modeling schemes to questions in logic, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of biology, philosophy of mind, and so on.
  2. Pancomputationalism: On this view, computational and informational concepts are considered to be so powerful that given the right level of abstraction, anything in the world could be modeled and represented as a computational system, and any process could be simulated computationally. Then, however, pancomputationalists have the hard task of providing credible answers to the following two questions:
    1. how can one avoid blurring all differences among systems?
    2. what would it mean for the system under investigation not to be an informational system (or a computational system, if computation is the same as information processing)?

Information and society

Numerous philosophers and other thinkers have carried out philosophical studies of the social and cultural aspects of electronically mediated information.

  • Albert Borgmann, Holding onto Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium (Chicago University Press, 1999)
  • Mark Poster, The Mode of Information (Chicago Press, 1990)
  • Luciano Floridi, "The Informational Nature of Reality", Fourth International European Conference on Computing and Philosophy 2006 (Dragvoll Campus, NTNU Norwegian University for Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, 22–24 June 2006).

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Luciano Floridi, "What is the Philosophy of Information?" Archived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine, Metaphilosophy, 2002, (33), 1/2.
  2. ^ Extract from "Steps to an Ecology of Mind" Archived 2012-02-04 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ The Philosophy of Information. Luciano Floridi. Chapter 4. Oxford University Press, USA (March 8, 2011) ASIN: 0199232385 [1]
  4. ^ Luciano Floridi, Open Problems in the Philosophy of Information Metaphilosophy 35.4, 554-582. Revised version of The Herbert A. Simon Lecture on Computing and Philosophy given at Carnegie Mellon University in 2001, with RealVideo

Further reading

External links

  • Adriaans, Peter (Autumn 2013). "Information". In Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Floridi, Luciano (Spring 2015). "Semantic Conceptions of Information". In Zalta, Edward N. (ed.). Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • IEG site, the Oxford University research group on the philosophy of information.
  • It from bit and fit from bit. On the origin and impact of information in the average evolution - from bit to atom and ecosystem. Information philosophy which covers not only the physics of information, but also how life forms originate and from there evolve to become more and more complex, including evolution of genes and memes, into the complex memetics from organisations and multinational corporations and a "global brain", (Yves Decadt, 2000). Book published in Dutch with English paper summary in The Information Philosopher, http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/scientists/decadt/
  • Luciano Floridi, "Where are we in the philosophy of information?" University of Bergen, Norway. Podcast dated 21.06.06.
Bibliometrics

Bibliometrics is the use of statistical methods to analyse books, articles, and other publications. Bibliometric methods are frequently used in the field of library and information science. The sub-field of bibliometrics which concerns itself with the analysis of scientific publications is called scientometrics. Citation analysis is a commonly used bibliometric method which is based on constructing the citation graph, a network or graph representation of the citations between documents. Many research fields use bibliometric methods to explore the impact of their field, the impact of a set of researchers, the impact of a particular paper, or to identify particularly impactful papers within a specific field of research. Bibliometrics also has a wide range of other applications, such as in descriptive linguistics, the development of thesauri, and evaluation of reader usage.

Categorization

Categorization is something that humans and other organisms do: "doing the right thing with the right kind of thing." The doing can be nonverbal or verbal. For humans, both concrete objects and abstract ideas are recognized, differentiated, and understood through categorization. Objects are usually categorized for some adaptive or pragmatic purpose. Categorization is grounded in the features that distinguish the category's members from nonmembers. Categorization is important in learning, prediction, inference, decision making, language, and many forms of organisms' interaction with their environments.

There are many theories of categorization, among them:

Classical categorization

Conceptual clustering

Prototype theory

Contrastivism

Contrastivism, or the contrast theory of meaning, is an epistemological theory proposed by Jonathan Schaffer that suggests that knowledge attributions have a ternary structure of the form 'S knows that p rather than q'. This is in contrast to the traditional view whereby knowledge attributions have a binary structure of the form 'S knows that p'. Contrastivism was suggested as an alternative to contextualism. Both are semantic theories that try to explain skepticism using semantic methods.

Walter Sinnott-Armstrong proposed in a paper titled "A Contrastivist Manifesto" a variant of contrastivism that, he argues, differs from contextualism, invariantism, and Schaffer's contrastivism.

Ernest Gellner in Words and Things "terms derive their meaning from the fact that there are or could be things which fall under them and that there are others which do not." (Emphasis in original.)

Conventionalism

Conventionalism is the philosophical attitude that fundamental principles of a certain kind are grounded on (explicit or implicit) agreements in society, rather than on external reality. Although this attitude is commonly held with respect to the rules of grammar, its application to the propositions of ethics, law, science, mathematics, and logic is more controversial.

Index of philosophy of language articles

This is an index of articles in philosophy of language

A.P. Martinich

Aboutness

Adolph Stöhr

Alexis Kagame

Alfred Jules Ayer

Alphabet of human thought

Ambiguity

Analytic-synthetic distinction

Anaphora

Andrea Bonomi

Applicative Universal Grammar

Archie J. Bahm

Arda Denkel

Aristotle

Artificial intelligence

Association for Logic, Language and Information

Avrum Stroll

Barry Loewer

Berlin Circle

Bertrand Russell

Bob Hale (philosopher)

Calculus ratiocinator

Carl Gustav Hempel

Ramsey sentence

Categorization

Category mistake

Causal theory of reference

César Chesneau Dumarsais

Cheung Kam Ching

Circular definition

Claude Lévi-Strauss

Cognitive synonymy

Colloquial language

Computational humor

Concept

Concept and object

Conceptual metaphor

Context-sensitive grammar

Context principle

Contextualism

Contrast theory of meaning

Contrastivism

Cooperative principle

Cora Diamond

Cratylism

Dagfinn Føllesdal

David Efird

David Kellogg Lewis

De dicto and de re

Definition

Denotation

Descriptivist theory of names

Direct reference theory

Direction of fit

Discourse ethics

Disquotational principle

Donald Davidson (philosopher)

Donkey pronoun

Dramatism

Duns Scotus

Empty name

Engineered language

Enumerative definition

Epistemicism

Ethics and Language

Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy

European Summer School in Logic, Language and Information

Exemplification

Extensional definition

F. H. Bradley

Family resemblance

Felicity conditions

Ferdinand Ebner

Failure to refer

Form of life (philosophy)

Franz Rosenzweig

Frege's Puzzle

Friedrich Waismann

Function and Concept

G. E. M. Anscombe

Gareth Evans (philosopher)

Genus–differentia definition

George Orwell

Gilbert Ryle

Gordon Park Baker

Gottlob Frege

Grammatology

Hans Kamp

Hector-Neri Castañeda

Henri Bergson

Ideal speech situation

Illocutionary act

Implicature

Indeterminacy (philosophy)

Indeterminacy of translation

Indexicality

Indirect self-reference

Inferential role semantics

Ingeborg Bachmann

Intension

Intensional definition

Internalism and externalism

Interpretation (logic)

J. L. Austin

Jacques Bouveresse

James F. Conant

Jody Azzouni

John Etchemendy

John McDowell

Jonathan Bennett (philosopher)

Journal of Logic, Language and Information

Karl-Otto Apel

Katarzyna Jaszczolt

Keith Donnellan

Kent Bach

Kit Fine

Language-game

Language and thought

Language of thought

Language, Truth, and Logic

Latitudinarianism (philosophy)

Lexical definition

Lexis (Aristotle)

Linguistic determinism

Linguistic relativity

Linguistic turn

Linguistics and Philosophy

List of philosophers of language

Logical atomism

Logical form

Logical positivism

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Marilyn Frye

Martian scientist

Max Black

Meaning (linguistics)

Meaning (non-linguistic)

Meaning (philosophy of language)

Meaning (semiotics)

Mediated reference theory

Meinong's jungle

Mental representation

Mental space

Metalanguage

Metaphor in philosophy

Michael Devitt

Michael Dummett

Modal property

Modistae

Modularity of mind

Moritz Schlick

Mumbo Jumbo (phrase)

Naming and Necessity

Nelson Goodman

New Foundations

Nino Cocchiarella

Noam Chomsky

Nomenclature

Nominalism

Non-rigid designator

Nonsense

Norm (philosophy)

Object language

On Denoting

Ontological commitment

Operational definition

Ordinary language philosophy

Ostensive definition

Otto Neurath

P. F. Strawson

Paradigm-case argument

Paralanguage

Paul Boghossian

Paul Grice

Performative contradiction

Performative text

Performative utterance

Persuasive definition

Peter Abelard

Peter Millican

Philosophical interpretation of classical physics

Philosophical Investigations

Philosophy and literature

Philosophy of language

Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer

Plato's Problem

Port-Royal Grammar

Pragmatics

Precising definition

Principle of charity

Principle of compositionality

Private language argument

Proper name (philosophy)

Proposition

Psychologism

Quotation

Radical translation

Rational reconstruction

Redundancy theory of truth

Reference

Relevance theory

Rhetoric of social intervention model

Richard von Mises

Rigid designator

Robert Brandom

Robert Maximilian de Gaynesford

Robert Stalnaker

Round square copula

Rudolf Carnap

S. Morris Engel

Saul Kripke

Scalar implicature

Scientific essentialism

Sebastian Shaumyan

Secondary reference

Self-reference

Semantic externalism

Semantic holism

Semantics

Semeiotic

Semiotics

Sense and reference

Sense and Sensibilia (Austin)

Shabda

Sign

Singular term

Slingshot argument

Social semiotics

Speech act

Sphota

Stanley Cavell

Statement (logic)

Stipulative definition

Structuralism

Supposition theory

Susan Stebbing

Swampman

Symbiosism

Symbol

Symbol grounding

Syntax

The Naturalization of Intentionality

Theoretical definition

Theory of descriptions

Þorsteinn Gylfason

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

Transparency (linguistic)

True name

Truth-conditional semantics

Truth-value link

Truthbearer

Two Dogmas of Empiricism

Type physicalism

Universal grammar

Universal language

Universal pragmatics

Use–mention distinction

Vagueness

Verification theory

Verificationism

Vienna Circle

Virgil Aldrich

Walter Benjamin

Willard Van Orman Quine

William Alston

William C. Dowling

William Crathorn

Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language

Word and Object

Word sense

Yehoshua Bar-Hillel

Zeno Vendler

Zhuangzi

Information ethics

Information ethics has been defined as "the branch of ethics that focuses on the relationship between the creation, organization, dissemination, and use of information, and the ethical standards and moral codes governing human conduct in society".

It examines the morality that comes from information as a resource, a product, or as a target. It provides a critical framework for considering moral issues concerning informational privacy, moral agency (e.g. whether artificial agents may be moral), new environmental issues (especially how agents should behave in the infosphere), problems arising from the life-cycle (creation, collection, recording, distribution, processing, etc.) of information (especially ownership and copyright, digital divide, and digital rights). It is very vital to understand that librarians, archivists, information professionals among others, really understand the importance of knowing how to disseminate proper information as well as being responsible with their actions when addressing information.Information ethics has evolved to relate to a range of fields such as computer ethics, medical ethics, journalism and the philosophy of information.

Information science

Information science is a field primarily concerned with the analysis, collection, classification, manipulation, storage, retrieval, movement, dissemination, and protection of information. Practitioners within and outside the field study application and usage of knowledge in organizations along with the interaction between people, organizations, and any existing information systems with the aim of creating, replacing, improving, or understanding information systems. Historically, information science is associated with computer science, psychology, and technology. However, information science also incorporates aspects of diverse fields such as archival science, cognitive science, commerce, law, linguistics, museology, management, mathematics, philosophy, public policy, and social sciences.

Information technology

Information technology (IT) is the use of computers to store, retrieve, transmit, and manipulate data, or information, often in the context of a business or other enterprise. IT is considered to be a subset of information and communications technology (ICT). An information technology system (IT system) is generally an information system, a communications system or, more specifically speaking, a computer system – including all hardware, software and peripheral equipment – operated by a limited group of users.

Humans have been storing, retrieving, manipulating, and communicating information since the Sumerians in Mesopotamia developed writing in about 3000 BC, but the term information technology in its modern sense first appeared in a 1958 article published in the Harvard Business Review; authors Harold J. Leavitt and Thomas L. Whisler commented that "the new technology does not yet have a single established name. We shall call it information technology (IT)." Their definition consists of three categories: techniques for processing, the application of statistical and mathematical methods to decision-making, and the simulation of higher-order thinking through computer programs.The term is commonly used as a synonym for computers and computer networks, but it also encompasses other information distribution technologies such as television and telephones. Several products or services within an economy are associated with information technology, including computer hardware, software, electronics, semiconductors, internet, telecom equipment, and e-commerce.Based on the storage and processing technologies employed, it is possible to distinguish four distinct phases of IT development: pre-mechanical (3000 BC – 1450 AD), mechanical (1450–1840), electromechanical (1840–1940), and electronic (1940–present). This article focuses on the most recent period (electronic), which began in about 1940.

List of philosophers of language

This is a list of philosophers of language.

Virgil Aldrich

William Alston

G. E. M. Anscombe

Karl-Otto Apel

Saint Thomas Aquinas, OP

Aristotle

J. L. Austin

Alfred Jules Ayer

Joxe Azurmendi

Jody Azzouni

Kent Bach

Ingeborg Bachmann

Archie J. Bahm

Yehoshua Bar-Hillel

Walter Benjamin

Jonathan Bennett

Henri Bergson

Max Black

Paul Boghossian

Andrea Bonomi

Jacques Bouveresse

F. H. Bradley

Robert Brandom

Berit Brogaard

Cardinal Thomas Cajetan, OP

Herman Cappelen

Rudolf Carnap

Hector-Neri Castañeda

Stanley Cavell

David Chalmers

Cheung Kam Ching

Noam Chomsky

Alonzo Church

Nino Cocchiarella

James F. Conant

William Crathorn

Donald Davidson

Arda Denkel

Michael Devitt

Keith Donnellan

William C. Dowling

César Chesneau Dumarsais

Michael Dummett

David Efird

S. Morris Engel

John Etchemendy

Gareth Evans

Kit Fine

Dagfinn Føllesdal

Gottlob Frege

Marilyn Frye

Robert Maximilian de Gaynesford

Peter Geach

Alexander George

Allan Gibbard

Gongsun Long

Nelson Goodman

Paul Grice

Jeroen Groenendijk

Samuel Guttenplan

Þorsteinn Gylfason

Susan Haack

Jürgen Habermas

Peter Hacker

Ian Hacking

Axel Hägerström

Bob Hale

Oswald Hanfling

Gilbert Harman

John Hawthorne

Jaakko Hintikka

William Hirstein

Richard Hönigswald

Jennifer Hornsby

Paul Horwich

Wilhelm von Humboldt

Carrie Ichikawa Jenkins

David Kaplan

Jerrold Katz

Saul Kripke

Mark Lance

Stephen Laurence

Ernest Lepore

David Kellogg Lewis

John Locke

Béatrice Longuenesse

Paul Lorenzen

William Lycan

John McDowell

Colin McGinn

Merab Mamardashvili

Ruth Barcan Marcus

José Medina

Maurice Merleau-Ponty

John Stuart Mill

Ruth Millikan

Richard Montague

Charles W. Morris

Adam Morton

Stephen Neale

William of Ockham

Jesús Padilla Gálvez

Peter Pagin

L.A. Paul

Charles Sanders Peirce

Carlo Penco

John Perry

Gualtiero Piccinini

Steven Pinker

Plato

Hilary Putnam

Willard Van Orman Quine

Adolf Reinach

Denise Riley

Richard Rorty

Roscellinus

Jay Rosenberg

Bertrand Russell's views on philosophy

Bertrand Russell

Gilbert Ryle

Robert Rynasiewicz

Mark Sainsbury

Nathan Salmon

Stephen Schiffer

Duns Scotus

John Searle

Susanna Siegel

Brian Skyrms

Quentin Smith

Scott Soames

David Sosa

Robert Stalnaker

Jason Stanley

John of St. Thomas, OP (John Poinsot)

Jaun Elia

Stephen Yablo

P. F. Strawson

Alfred Tarski

Kenneth Allen Taylor

Ernst Tugendhat

Michael Tye

Zeno Vendler

Vācaspati Miśra

Friedrich Waismann

Brian Weatherson

Michael Williams

Timothy Williamson

John Wisdom

Ludwig Wittgenstein

Crispin Wright

Georg Henrik von Wright

Edward N. Zalta

Eddy Zemach

Paul Ziff

Dean Zimmerman

List of philosophies

Philosophical schools of thought and philosophical movements.

Luciano Floridi

Luciano Floridi (Italian: [floˈriːdi]; born 16 November 1964) is currently Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information and Director of the Digital Ethics Lab, at the University of Oxford, Oxford Internet Institute, Professorial Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, Senior Member of the Faculty of Philosophy, Research Associate and Fellow in Information Policy at the Department of Computer Science, University of Oxford, and Distinguished Research Fellow of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics. He is also Adjunct Professor ("Distinguished Scholar in Residence"), Department of Economics, American University, Washington D.C. He is Turing Fellow and Chair of the Data Ethics Group (DEG) of the Alan Turing Institute

Floridi is best known for his work on two areas of philosophical research: the philosophy of information and information ethics.

Between 2008 and 2013, he held the Research Chair in philosophy of information and the UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics at the University of Hertfordshire. He was the founder and director of the IEG, an interdepartmental research group on the philosophy of information at the University of Oxford, and of the GPI the research Group in Philosophy of Information at the University of Hertfordshire. He was the founder and director of the SWIF, the Italian e-journal of philosophy (1995–2008). He is a former Governing Body Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford.His works have been translated into Arabic, Chinese, French, Greek, Hungarian, Japanese, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Meaning (linguistics)

In linguistics, meaning is the information or concepts that a sender intends to convey, or does convey, in communication with a receiver.

Notion (philosophy)

A notion in philosophy is a reflection in the mind of real objects and phenomena in their essential features and relations. Notions are usually described in terms of scope and content. This is because notions are often created in response to empirical observations (or experiments) of covarying trends among variables.

Notion is the common translation for Begriff as used by Hegel in his Science of Logic (1816).

Philosophical logic

Philosophical logic refers to those areas of philosophy in which recognized methods of logic have traditionally been used to solve or advance the discussion of philosophical problems. Among these, Sybil Wolfram highlights the study of argument, meaning, and truth, while Colin McGinn presents identity, existence, predication, necessity and truth as the main topics of his book on the subject.Philosophical logic also addresses extensions and alternatives to traditional, "classical" logic known as "non-classical" logics. These receive more attention in texts such as John P. Burgess's Philosophical Logic, the Blackwell Companion to Philosophical Logic, or the multi-volume Handbook of Philosophical Logic edited by Dov M. Gabbay and Franz Guenthner.

Philosophy of computer science

The philosophy of computer science is concerned with the philosophical questions that arise with the study of computer science, which is understood to mean not just programming but the whole study of concepts and methods that assist in the development and maintenance of computer systems. There is still no common understanding of the content, aim, focus, or topic of the philosophy of computer science, despite some attempts to develop a philosophy of computer science like the philosophy of physics or the philosophy of mathematics.

The philosophy of computer science as such deals with the meta-activity that is associated with the development of the concepts and methodologies that implement and analyze the computational systems.

Quantum information science

Quantum information science is an area of study based on the idea that information science depends on quantum effects in physics. It includes theoretical issues in computational models as well as more experimental topics in quantum physics including what can and cannot be done with quantum information. The term quantum information theory is sometimes used, but it fails to encompass experimental research in the area and can be confused with a subfield of quantum information science that studies the processing of quantum information.

Subfields include:

Quantum computing: Studies of how and whether a quantum computer can be built and the algorithms that harness its power (see quantum algorithm)

Quantum error correction

Quantum information theory

Quantum complexity theory

Quantum cryptography and its generalization, quantum communication

Quantum communication complexity

Quantum entanglement, as seen from an information-theoretic point of view

Quantum dense coding

Quantum teleportation is a well-known quantum information processing operation, which can be used to move any arbitrary quantum state from one particle (at one location) to another.

Sign

A sign is an object, quality, event, or entity whose presence or occurrence indicates the probable presence or occurrence of something else. A natural sign bears a causal relation to its object—for instance, thunder is a sign of storm, or medical symptoms signify a disease. A conventional sign signifies by agreement, as a full stop signifies the end of a sentence; similarly the words and expressions of a language, as well as bodily gestures, can be regarded as signs, expressing particular meanings. The physical objects most commonly referred to as signs (notices, road signs, etc., collectively known as signage) generally inform or instruct using written text, symbols, pictures or a combination of these.

The philosophical study of signs and symbols is called semiotics; this includes the study of semiosis, which is the way in which signs (in the semiotic sense) operate.

Statement (logic)

In logic, the term statement is variously understood to mean either:

(a) a meaningful declarative sentence that is true or false, or

(b) the assertion that is made by a true or false declarative sentence.In the latter case, a statement is distinct from a sentence in that a sentence is only one formulation of a statement, whereas there may be many other formulations expressing the same statement.

Theological noncognitivism

Theological noncognitivism is the position that religious language – specifically, words such as "God" – are not cognitively meaningful. It is sometimes considered synonymous with ignosticism.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.