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Neural Information and the Problem of Objectivity

Rathkopf, Charles (2017) Neural Information and the Problem of Objectivity. [Preprint]

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Abstract

A fascinating research program in neurophysiology attempts to quantify the amount of information transmitted by single neurons. The claims that emerge from this research raise new philosophical questions about the nature of information. What kind of information is being quantified? Do the resulting quantities describe empirical magnitudes like those found elsewhere in the natural sciences? In this article, it is argued that neural information quantities have a relativisitic character that makes them distinct from the kinds of information typically discussed in the philosophical literature. It is also argued that despite this relativistic character, there are cases in which neural information quantities can be viewed as robustly objective empirical properties.


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Item Type: Preprint
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Rathkopf, Charles
Keywords: neuron, information, objectivity, Shannon, Skyrms
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Depositing User: Dr. Charles Rathkopf
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2017 17:07
Last Modified: 20 Jan 2017 17:07
Item ID: 12760
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Function/Teleology
Specific Sciences > Biology > Neuroscience
Specific Sciences > Probability/Statistics
Date: 15 January 2017
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/12760

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