About the concept of information
CONICET, University of Buenos Aires (Argentina)
For the talk slides, see Slides
For the talk video, see Video

Regarding the concept of information, the first distinction to be introduced is that between a semantic view, according to which information carries semantic content and, thus, is related to notions as reference and meaning (Floridi 2010, 2011), and a statistical view, concerned with the statistical properties of a system and/or the correlations between the states of two systems. The locus classicus of the statistical concept is the famous article by Claude Shannon (1948), where a precise formalism is introduced; however, in spite of the agreement concerning the traditional and well understood formalism, the very interpretation of the concept of information is far from unanimous. Here we will distinguish the epistemic (Dretske 1981, Dunn 2001, Caves, Fuchs and Schack 2002) and the physical (Landauer 1991, 1996, Rovelli 1996) interpretations of the concept of information, considering their advantages and shortcomings, and we will consider a pluralist view based on a formal interpretation of the concept (Lombardi 2004, Lombardi, Fortin & Vanni 2014).
During the last decades, new interpretive problems have arisen with the advent of quantum information, which combine the difficulties in the understanding of the concept of information with the well-known foundational puzzles derived from quantum mechanics itself. This situation contrasts with the huge development of the research field named ‘quantum information’, where new formal results multiply rapidly. In this context, the question to be answered is: are there two different kinds of information, classical and quantum? In this article we will contrast the views that give a positive answer of this question in terms of the different ways of generating and transmitting information (Timpson 2008, 2013, Duwell 2008), with those that conceive classical information as a particular case of quantum information (Bub 2007), and also with those that claim that there is a single kind of information, which can be encoded by means of classical or quantum systems (Duwell 2003, Lombardi, Holik & Vanni 2014).

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Lombardi, O., Holik, F. and Vanni, L. (2014). “What is quantum information?”, PhilSci Archive forthcoming.
Lombardi, O., Fortin, S. and Vanni, L. (2014). “A Pluralist View About Information.” Philosophy of Science, forthcoming.
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Timpson, C. (2013). Quantum Information Theory and the Foundations of Quantum Mechanics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.