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Physicalist Deflationary Conception of Semantic Information

There have been many attempts - using mathematical definitions, conceptual analysis, logic (usually second order logics, and logical probabilities), and metaphysics - to explain the nature of semantic information. Some of the earliest theories of semantic information came from Rudolph Carnap and Yehoshua Bar-Hillel, and other attempts have been offered by Luciano Floridi, Lofti Zadeh, Peiter Adiraans, and more recently Carlo Rovelli.

My own attempt, based upon work in my PhD thesis and pulbished in Synthese in 2014, is deflationary and physicalist in its foundation like the later effort of Rovelli, but does not deploy the mathematical apparatus of David Wolpert. Rovelli also deploys a correspondingly subjectivist and fucntionalist conception of semantic physical information that backs up to evolutionary theory: information only exists in conjunction with living organisms and their components for the purposes of bringing about function.

This is a clever approach, but my own approach rejects the need for consumers or receivers, or subjective agents or functional outcomes, to be present as a necessary condition for the obtaining of information.


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