Unified Theory of Information (UTI)


Editor
Incorporated contributions
Díaz & Hofkirchner (20/07/09)
Usage domain
Transdisciplinary, Science of Information
Type
Theory
French
théorie unifiée de l'information
German Vereinheitlichte Theorie der Information

Although the Anglo-Saxon term was used by Kerns Powers (1956) "to provide a unified mathematical theory for the treatment of the statistical processes by which information is conveyed in communication systems", it is now used in a more ambitious proposal that in contrast to Power is not limited to the syntactical level. The UTI aims at a theoretical articulation embracing all processes and structures related to the creation, transformation and the crystallizing out of information in cognitive, communicative and cooperative contexts, by means of a (supposedly feasible) blending of the concepts of self-organization and semiosis (self-re-structuringself-reproductionself-re-creation).

The purpose of achieving a comprehensive theory is to enable society to cope with the challenges of the so-called information society. A transdisciplinary development is pursued – nourished by notions developed in the cross-disciplines of informatics, cybernetics, systemics and evolutionary theory, as well as in disciplines of life sciences, psychology, and social and human sciences like semiotics. This approach has been advanced by Peter Fleissner, Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Norbert Fenzl, Gottfried Stockinger and Christian Fuchs. They did so by taking up, while modifying, positions of Michael Conrad, Pedro Marijuán, Koichiro Matsuno, Tom Stonier, Søren Brier, John Collier, Dail Doucette, and others. Most of the scholars named above have been contributing to the building up of a new Science of Information, though they might differ in the feasibility of a unified theory (Capurro et al. 1999, Hofkirchner 2008, Marijuán 2008).

Capurro and Hjørland (2003) criticize this approach as having a metaphysical rather than a scientific status insofar as “a view of the whole of reality that is not possible for a finite observer” is assumed.
 
References
  • CAPURRO, R., FLEISSNER, P., & HOFKIRCHNER, W. (1999). "Is a Unified Theory of Information Feasible? A Trialogue". In Hofkirchner, W. (Ed.), The quest for a unified theory of information. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach. pp. 9-30. [Online]<http://www.capurro.de/trialog.htm> [Consulted: 10/07/2007]
  • CAPURRO, R., HJØRLAND, B. (2003). "The Concept of Information", Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Ed. B. Cronin, 37(8), 343-411.
  • HOFKIRCHNER, W. (Ed.). (1999) The quest for a unified theory of information. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Foundations of Information Science. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach.
  • HOFKIRCHNER, W., STOCKINGER, G. (2003). "Towards a Unified Theory of Information". In: 404nOtF0und, 1(24). [Online] <http://cartoon.iguw.tuwien.ac.at/zope/igw/menschen/hofkirchner/papers/InfoConcept/article/article.html> [Consulted: 20/07/2009]
  • HOFKIRCHNER, W. (2008). "How to Achieve a Unified Theory of Information". In: Díaz Nafría, J. M., Salto Alemany, F. (eds.), ¿Qué es información?, León: Universidad de León.
  • MARIJUÁN, P. (2008). "The advancement of Information Science. Is a new way of thinking necessary?". In: Díaz Nafría, J. M., Salto Alemany, F. (eds.), ¿Qué es información?, León: Universidad de León.
  • POWERS, Kerns (1956). A Unified Theory of Information. Cambridge. USA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Entries
New entry. Before doing a new entry, please, copy this line and the following ones and paste them at the column bottom. Next fill out the fields: 'name', 'date' and 'text', and delete this upper blue paragraph.
Name (date)
 
[Entry text]




Antonio Florio (25/12/2009)
 
ON PRAXILOGICAL INFORMATION:

In the paper attached in this entry is outlined an action-oriented philosophy of information, namely praxiological information. The praxiological kind of knowledge and some of its species (behavior, communication, computation, information, attention, learning,) are introduced by the method of generalization and classification.

By exploiting the metaphor of the spectrum of colors, the architectures of behavior, communication and computation are shown as if they were primary colors: red, yellow and blue. 

The architecture of information (green) is introduced by joining together the architecture of computation (blue) and communication (yellow). The principle of information, that is the Data Operational Principle, is stated; the informational bearers, that is messages, are explained; the informational criteria, that is connectivity and compatibility, are outlined; 

The architecture of attention (orange) is introduced by joining together the architecture of behavior (red) and that of communication (yellow). The criterion of attention, that is relevance, is pointed out. 

The architecture of learning (violet) is introduced by joining together the architecture of behavior (red) and that of computation (blue). The criterion of learning, that is effectiveness, is pointed out. 

The architecture of knowledge results to be an architecture composed by the integration of all the preceding architectures. Exploiting our metaphor, it can be regarded as the prism of Newton through which, when the colors (phenomena) are projected, the white light (knowledge) is obtained and vice versa. A new epistemology in which the keywords are pluralism, integration of phenomena and synthesis, is propounded. By the new epistemology knowledge results to be information which is relevant and effective. By the new epistemology the problem of the location of information is solved. 



Incorporated Entries
Díaz Nafría, J.M. & Hofkirchner (20/07/2009)
 
Although the Anglo-Saxon term was used by Kerns Powers (1956) "to provide a unified mathematical theory for the treatment of the statistical processes by which information is conveyed in communication systems", it is now used in a more ambitious proposal that in contrast with Power it is not limited to the syntactical level. The UTI aims at a theoretical articulation embracing all processes related with the creation, transformation and communication of information, by means of (an allegedly feasible) blending of the concepts of self-organization and  semiosis (self-re-structuringself-reproductionself-re-creation).

The purpose of achieving a comprehensive theory roots its necessity (relatively urgent) in developing a theoretical frame able to rise to the occasion of the problems appearing in the so called information society. With this goal, an interdisciplinary development is pursued -nourished by notions developed in cybernetics, biology, psicology, sociology or semiotics. In its advancement is worth to mention the direct engagement of: Wolfgang Hofkirchner, Peter Fleissner, Norbert Fenzl, Gottfried Stockiger; and indirectly (by means of suggestions, criticism, etc): Michael Conrad, Pedro Marijuán, Dail Doucette, Søren Brier, Koichiro Matsuno, etc. Although only the former have been involved in the development of the UTI, all of them share the fostering of a →Science of Information, having relevant differences in the viability beliefs concerning a unified theory (Capurro et al. 1999, Hofkirchner 2008, Marijuán 2008).

Capurro and Hjørland (2003) critic this approach as having a metaphysical rather than a scientific status insofar as “a view of the whole of reality that is not possible for a finite observer” is assumed.

References
 
- CAPURRO, R., FLEISSNER, P., & HOFKIRCHNER, W. (1999). "Is a Unified Theory of Information Feasible? A Trialogue". In Hofkirchner, W. (Ed.), The quest for a unified theory of information. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach. pp. 9-30. [Online]<http://www.capurro.de/trialog.htm> [Consulted: 10/07/2007]
 
- CAPURRO, R., HJØRLAND, B. (2003). "The Concept of Information", Annual Review of Information Science and Technology, Ed. B. Cronin, 37(8), 343-411.
 
- HOFKIRCHNER, W. (Ed.). (1999) The quest for a unified theory of information. Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the Foundations of Information Science. Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach.
 
- HOFKIRCHNER, W., STOCKIGER, G. (2003). "Towards a Unified Theory of Information". In: 404nOtF0und, Vol. 1 (3), N. 24. [Online] here [Consulted: 20/07/2009]
 
- HOFKIRCHNER, W. (2008). "How to Achieve a Unified Theory of Information". In: Díaz Nafría, J. M., Salto Alemany, F. (eds.), ¿Qué es información?, León: Universidad de León.
 
- MARIJUÁN, P. (2008). "The advancement of Information Science. Is a new way of thinking necessary?". In: Díaz Nafría, J. M., Salto Alemany, F. (eds.), ¿Qué es información?, León: Universidad de León.

- POWERS, Kerns (1956). A Unified Theory of Information. Cambridge. USA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 
Ċ
José María Díaz Nafría,
Oct 30, 2009, 3:29 AM
Ċ
anto.florio@cheapnet.it,
Dec 25, 2009, 11:06 AM
Ċ
José María Díaz Nafría,
Sep 15, 2009, 5:31 AM
Comments