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Entropy 2018, 20(12), 894; https://doi.org/10.3390/e20120894

What Does ‘Information’ Mean in Integrated Information Theory?

1,†,* and 1,2,†
1
CONICET–Institute of Philosophy, University of Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires 1406, Argentina
2
Department of Philosophy, University of Lausanne, CH-1015 Lausanne, Switzerland
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 12 November 2018 / Accepted: 20 November 2018 / Published: 22 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Information Theory)
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Abstract

Integrated Information Theory (IIT) intends to provide a principled theoretical approach able to characterize consciousness both quantitatively and qualitatively. By starting off identifying the fundamental properties of experience itself, IIT develops a formal framework that relates those properties to the physical substratum of consciousness. One of the central features of ITT is the role that information plays in the theory. On the one hand, one of the self-evident truths about consciousness is that it is informative. On the other hand, mechanisms and systems of mechanics can contribute to consciousness only if they specify systems’ intrinsic information. In this paper, we will conceptually analyze the notion of information underlying ITT. Following previous work on the matter, we will particularly argue that information within ITT should be understood in the light of a causal-manipulabilist view of information (López and Lombardi 2018), conforming to which information is an entity that must be involved in causal links in order to be precisely defined. Those causal links are brought to light by means of interventionist procedures following Woodward’s and Pearl’s version of the manipulability theories of causation. View Full-Text
Keywords: integrated information theory; Shannon information; causation; manipulability theory of causation integrated information theory; Shannon information; causation; manipulability theory of causation
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 (CC BY 4.0).
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Lombardi, O.; López, C. What Does ‘Information’ Mean in Integrated Information Theory? Entropy 2018, 20, 894.

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