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Natural Information, Factivity and Nomicity

Ben, Baker (2021) Natural Information, Factivity and Nomicity. [Preprint]

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Biological and cognitive sciences rely heavily on the idea of information transmitted between natural events or processes. This paper critically assesses some current philosophical views of natural information and defends a view of natural information as Nomic and Factive. Dretske (1981) offered a Factive view of information, and recent work on the topic has tended to reject this aspect of his view in favor of a non-Factive, probabilistic approach. This paper argues that the reasoning behind this move to non-Factivity is flawed and mixes up different problems with Dretske’s original view. I show that one of these problems – strictness – has to do with Nomicity rather than Factivity. The other problem – reference class ambiguity – is not solvable just in terms of a theory of natural information. On the Dretske-inspired view I defend, natural information is Factive and Nomic but is insufficient to determine the cognitive or biological content of a natural process. In sum I present an examination what natural information is and what role it can (and cannot) play in our understanding of living and thinking things.

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Item Type: Preprint
Ben, Bakert.ben.baker@gmail.com0000-0003-0027-1372
Keywords: Information, Probability, Semantic Content, Laws of Nature, Factivity, Nomicity
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Depositing User: Dr. Ben Baker
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2021 03:17
Last Modified: 31 Jan 2021 03:17
Item ID: 18657
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computation/Information
General Issues > Laws of Nature
Date: 30 January 2021

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