Lunch Uncertain [Review of: Floridi, Luciano (2011) The Philosophy of Information (Oxford)]

Harnad, Stevan (2011) Lunch Uncertain [Review of: Floridi, Luciano (2011) The Philosophy of Information (Oxford)] Times Literary Supplement, 5664, pp. 22-23.


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The usual way to try to ground knowing according to contemporary theory of knowledge is: We know something if (1) it’s true, (2) we believe it, and (3) we believe it for the “right” reasons. Floridi proposes a better way. His grounding is based partly on probability theory, and partly on a question/answer network of verbal and behavioural interactions evolving in time. This is rather like modeling the data-exchange between a data-seeker who needs to know which button to press on a food-dispenser and a data-knower who already knows the correct number. The success criterion, hence the grounding, is whether the seeker’s probability of lunch is indeed increasing (hence uncertainty is decreasing) as a result of the interaction. Floridi also suggests that his philosophy of information casts some light on the problem of consciousness. I’m not so sure.

Item Type: Article
ISSNs: 0307-661X (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: information, information theory, knowledge, belief, certainty, uncertainty, probability, scepticism, epistemology, induction, symbol grounding
Organisations: Electronics & Computer Science
ePrint ID: 272962
Date :
Date Event
21 October 2011Published
Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2011 00:58
Last Modified: 17 Apr 2017 17:36
Further Information:Google Scholar

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