Information 2013, 4(1), 31-32; doi:10.3390/info4010031

Editorial
Philosophy of Information: Views and Reflections on the Work of Luciano Floridi
Flavio Soares Correa da Silva
Laboratory of Interactivity and Digital Entertainment Technology, Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (SP) 05508090, Brazil; E-Mail: fcs@ime.usp.br
Received: 17 December 2012 / Accepted: 26 December 2012 / Published: 7 January 2013

Abstract

: In this collection of selected articles, we discuss some aspects of the extensive work of Luciano Floridi, with special emphasis on how it relates to and has influenced research work on Computer Science.
Keywords:
philosophy of information; methodological issues in Computer Science

In December 2011 I was approached to act as guest editor in a special issue of Information, which should be devoted to reflections on the extensive work of Prof. Luciano Floridi. The majority of publications of Prof. Floridi are single authored, and several authors who were invited to prepare papers for this special issue did not accept the invitation. I have taken this observation as an indication that further connections between ongoing research in Computer Science and Prof. Floridi’s work could be a good theme for the special issue. Based on this observation, I suggested to the authors who did accept the invitation to prepare articles in which the importance of Prof. Floridi’s work became clear as reflections as well as influence on existing research initiatives in Computer Science, this way unveiling the connections between relevant ongoing research and Prof. Floridi’s reflections.

Three groups of authors accepted this challenge, and prepared the three highly interesting articles which constitute the present special edition of Information:

  • Prof. Marcello D’Agostino—who has indeed co-authored an important paper with Prof. Floridi [1]—discusses and extends upon their views about the Scandal of Deduction, based on which logical inferences would not add information beyond a priori axiomatic theories, argues against this statement, and explains how agents can be organised as a hierarchy, based on the extent to which information is available to them, this way approximating asymptotically “ideal agents” which would have full access to information.

  • Prof. Marcelo Finger and Poliana M. Reis also discuss the Scandal of Deduction; however, they approach this issue empirically, by observing the required computational effort to perform inferences as related to structural and quantifiable features of propositional theories, this way providing evidence that not only the consequences of propositional logical theories cannot be trivially obtained from their axioms, but also the effort to determine these consequences can be approximately predicted.

  • Finally, Prof. Stefania Bandini and Dr. Giuseppe Vizzari discuss Prof. Floridi’s proposed method of Levels of Abstraction, as a strategy to approach reality, and show how it can be useful to model complex phenomena such as crowd behaviour.

These three interesting articles discuss, as requested, the relations between certain aspects of the work of Prof. Floridi and mainstream research in Computer Science, this way possibly shedding interesting light upon the work of Prof. Floridi.

Reference

  1. D’Agostino, M.; Floridi, L. The Enduring Scandal of Deduction: Is Propositional Logic Really Uninformative? Synthese 2009, 167, 271–315, doi:10.1007/s11229-008-9409-4.
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