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Information 2014, 5(3), 451-478; doi:10.3390/info5030451

Pragmatic Information as a Unifying Biological Concept

School of History, Philosophy, Religion and Classics, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, QLD 4072, Australia
Received: 10 June 2014 / Revised: 4 August 2014 / Accepted: 5 September 2014 / Published: 11 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Information Theory and Methodology)
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This paper aims to introduce a developed reading of Roederer’s interpretation of pragmatic information as a good candidate for a Unifying Information Concept required for an as-yet-unavailable Science of Information. According to pragmatic information, information and information processing are exclusive attributes of biological systems related to the very definition of life. I will apply the notion to give new accounts in the following areas: (1) quantum interpretation: based on a modified version of David Bohm’s interpretation of quantum mechanics, I propose an ontological, information-based interpretation of quantum mechanics which, unlike Roederer’s interpretation, satisfies all conditions of pragmatic information; (2) artificial intelligence: the notion successfully distinguishes natural living systems from artifacts and natural non-living systems, providing a context to pose an information-based argument against the thesis of Strong Artificial Intelligence; (3) phenomenal consciousness: I will use pragmatic information to modify and update Chalmers’s Double-aspect Theory of Information to be explanatorily more powerful regarding the physical aspect of his theory; (4) causation: based on pragmatic information, I pose a new account of causation which differentiates causation in biology from causation in natural abiotic world. View Full-Text
Keywords: pragmatic information; biological systems; quantum interpretation; artificial intelligence; phenomenal consciousness; biological causation pragmatic information; biological systems; quantum interpretation; artificial intelligence; phenomenal consciousness; biological causation

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Maleeh, R. Pragmatic Information as a Unifying Biological Concept. Information 2014, 5, 451-478.

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