Philosophy Dictionary of Arguments

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Information, information theory: A character or a character combination contains information when it is clear to the recipient that this character or the character combination appears instead of another possible character or a possible character combination. The supply of possible characters determines to a part the probability of the occurrence of a character from this supply. In addition, the expected probability of the appearance of a character can be increased by already experienced experiences of regularities. The amount of information transmitted by a character depends on the improbability of the occurrence of the character.

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Annotation: The above characterizations of concepts are neither definitions nor exhausting presentations of problems related to them. Instead, they are intended to give a short introduction to the contributions below. – Lexicon of Arguments.

 
Author Concept Summary/Quotes Sources

Claude Shannon on Information - Dictionary of Arguments

Brockman I 155
Information/Shannon/Kaiser: In Shannon’s now-famous formulation(1), the information content of a string of symbols was given by the logarithm of the number of possible symbols from which a given string was chosen. Shannon’s key insight was that the information of a message was just like the entropy of a gas: a measure of the system’s disorder.
Brockman I 154
(…) mathematician Warren Weaver explained that in Shannon’s formulation, “the word information . . . is used in a special sense that must not be confused with its ordinary usage. In particular, information must not be confused with meaning.(2)
Linguists and poets might be concerned about the “semantic” aspects of communication, Weaver continued, but not engineers like Shannon.
Rather, “this word ‘information’ in communication theory relates not so much to what you do say, as to what you could say.” (2)


1. Claude Shannon, A Mathematical Theory of Communication, Bell System Technical Journal (1948), Vol. 27/3
2. Warren Weaver, ’Recent Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Communication,” in Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1949), 8.


Kaiser, David “”information” for Wiener, for Shannon, and for Us” in: Brockman, John (ed.) 2019. Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI. New York: Penguin Press.


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Explanation of symbols: Roman numerals indicate the source, arabic numerals indicate the page number. The corresponding books are indicated on the right hand side. ((s)…): Comment by the sender of the contribution. Translations: Dictionary of Arguments
The note [Concept/Author], [Author1]Vs[Author2] or [Author]Vs[term] resp. "problem:"/"solution:", "old:"/"new:" and "thesis:" is an addition from the Dictionary of Arguments. If a German edition is specified, the page numbers refer to this edition.
Shannon, Claude
Brockman I
John Brockman
Possible Minds: Twenty-Five Ways of Looking at AI New York 2019


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Ed. Martin Schulz, access date 2023-02-01
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