Entropy 2003, 5(2), 125-145; doi:10.3390/e5020125

From Data to Semantic Information

Received: 10 January 2003; Accepted: 12 February 2003 / Published: 30 June 2003
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Abstract: There is no consensus yet on the definition of semantic information. This paper contributes to the current debate by criticising and revising the Standard Definition of semantic Information (SDI) as meaningful data, in favour of the Dretske-Grice approach: meaningful and well-formed data constitute semantic information only if they also qualify as contingently truthful. After a brief introduction, SDI is criticised for providing necessary but insufficient conditions for the definition of semantic information. SDI is incorrect because truth-values do not supervene on semantic information, and misinformation (that is, false semantic information) is not a type of semantic information, but pseudo-information, that is not semantic information at all. This is shown by arguing that none of the reasons for interpreting misinformation as a type of semantic information is convincing, whilst there are compelling reasons to treat it as pseudo-information. As a consequence, SDI is revised to include a necessary truth-condition. The last section summarises the main results of the paper and indicates the important implications of the revised definition for the analysis of the deflationary theories of truth, the standard definition of knowledge and the classic, quantitative theory of semantic information.
Keywords: Barwise; Deflationary Theories of Truth; Devlin; Dretske; Geach; Grice; Information Theory; Semantic Information; Situation Logic; Standard Definition of Semantic Information; Philosophy of Information; Theory of Truth
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MDPI and ACS Style

Floridi, L. From Data to Semantic Information. Entropy 2003, 5, 125-145.

AMA Style

Floridi L. From Data to Semantic Information. Entropy. 2003; 5(2):125-145.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Floridi, Luciano. 2003. "From Data to Semantic Information." Entropy 5, no. 2: 125-145.

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