Project Title: Information: Entropy, Complexity, and Life

Principal Advisor: Associate Professor Phil Dowe

Project Abstract: Notions of information in philosophy have been used as an aid in understanding a variety of concepts, such as knowledge, mental content, and justification for example. However, despite such diverse use of the concept, little is said about what constitutes information per se, and its relationship with entropy and life is explored little outside of the fields of physics and engineering. Most theories of information are subjective probabilistic accounts, and are quite limited in their use. On the other hand, objective theories of information usually ‘point out’ informational connections by providing simple tests for their presence, while saying very little or nothing about what constitutes such connections. I expect that an objective theory of information, its life-sustaining properties and its relationship to entropy, will be a better aid in understanding a variety of concepts in several fields of philosophy, such as philosophy of biology, epistemology, philosophy of artificial intelligence, philosophy of physics, philosophy of mind and metaphysics. In addition, I expect that it will provide context for several problems in the fields of philosophy of cognitive biology, and cognitive science.

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