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Understanding Epistemic Relevance

Floridi, Luciano (2008) Understanding Epistemic Relevance. [Preprint]


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Agents require a constant flow, and a high level of processing, of relevant semantic information, in order to interact successfully among themselves and with the environment in which they are embedded. Standard theories of information, however, are silent on the nature of epistemic relevance. In this paper, a subjectivist interpretation of epistemic relevance is developed and defended. It is based on a counterfactual and metatheoretical analysis of the degree of relevance of some semantic information i to an informee/agent a, as a function of the accuracy of i understood as an answer to a query q, given the probability that q might be asked by a. This interpretation of epistemic relevance vindicates a strongly semantic theory of information, according to which semantic information encapsulates truth. It accounts satisfactorily for several important applications and interpretations of the concept of relevant information in a variety of philosophical areas. And it interfaces successfully with current philosophical interpretations of causal and logical relevance.

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Item Type: Preprint
Floridi, Luciano
Keywords: Bayesian network; counterfactuals; erotetic logic; information theory; Meno’s paradox; metatheory; rational choice; relevant information; relevance; semantic information.
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Computer Science
Depositing User: Luciano Floridi
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2008
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:16
Item ID: 4075

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