Educated as a mathematician, he became, through his coauthorship and publication of Principia Mathematica with Bertrand Russella major logician. Later he wrote extensively on physics and its philosophy, proposing a theory of gravity in Minkowski space as a logically possible alternative to Einstein's general theory of relativity.
The Two-Slit Experiment What is information? A common definition of information is the act of informing - the communication of knowledge from a sender to a receiver that informs literally shapes the receiver. Often used as a synonym for knowledge, information traditionally implies that the sender and receiver are human beings, but many animals clearly communicate.
Information theory studies the communication of information. Information philosophy extends that study to the communication of information content between material objects, including how it is changed by energetic interactions with the rest of the universe.
We call a material object with information content an information structure. While information is communicated between inanimate objects, they do not process information, which we will show is the defining characteristic of living beings and their artifacts.
The sender of information need not be a person, an animal, or even a living thing. It might be a purely material object, a rainbow, for example, sending color information to your eye.
The receiver, too, might be merely physical, a molecule of water in that rainbow that receives too few photons and cools to join the formation of a crystal snowflake, increasing its information content.
Information theory, the mathematical theory of the communication of information, says little about meaning in a message, which is roughly the use to which the information received is put.
Information philosophy extends the information flows in human communications systems and digital computers to the natural information carried in the energy and material flows between all the information structures in the observable universe.
A message that is certain to tell you something you already know contains no new information. It does not increase your knowledge, or reduce the uncertainty in what you know, as information theorists put it. If everything that happens was certain to happen, as determinist philosophers claim, no new information would ever enter the universe.
Information would be a universal constant. There would be "nothing new under the sun. Physics tells us that the total amount of mass and energy in the universe is a constant.
The conservation of mass and energy is a fundamental law of nature. Some mathematical physicists erroneously think that information should also be a conserved quantity, that information is a constant of nature.
This includes some leading mathematical physicists. But information is neither matter nor energy, though it needs matter to be embodied and energy to be communicated. Information can be created and destroyed. The material universe creates it. The biological world creates it and utilizes it.
Above all, human minds create, process, and preserve information, the Sum of human knowledge that distinguishes humanity from all other biological species and that provides the extraordinary power humans have over our planet.
Information is the modern spirit, the ghost in the machine, the mind in the body. It is the soul, and when we die, it is our information that perishes.
We propose information as an objective valuethe ultimate sine qua non.
Information philosophy claims that man is not a machine and the brain is not a computer. Living things process information in ways far more complex, if not faster, than the most powerful information processing machines.
What biological systems and computing systems have in common is the processing of information, as we must explain. Whereas machines are assembled, living things assemble themselves. They are both information structures, patterns, through which matter and energy flows, thanks to flows of negative entropy coming from the Sun and the expanding universe.
And they both can create new information, build new structures, and maintain their integrity against the destructive influence of the second law of thermodynamics.EVOLUTION TRENDS The "INFORMATION AGE" & its Evolution into the "Holographic Age" Challenges & Realistic Goals For Survival & Creating A Desirable Future.
EDITORS' PREFACE Process and Reality, Whitehead's magnum opus, is one of the major philosophical works of the modern world, and an extensive body of secondary literature has developed around it.
Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and poet living in Cumbria, England.
He is the author of several books, including the poetry collection Kidland and his fictional debut The Wake, winner of the Gordon Burn Prize and the Bookseller Book of the Year Award.
Kingsnorth is the cofounder and director of the Dark Mountain Project, a network of writers, artists, and thinkers. Fact and form ; The extensive continuum ; The order of nature ; Organisms and environment ; Locke and Hume ; From Descartes to Kant ; The subjectivist principle ; Symbolic reference ; The propositions ; Process ; Propositions and feelings ; The higher phases of experience -- The theory of ashio-midori.com: Process and reality: an essay in cosmology by Alfred North Whitehead starting at $ Process and reality: an essay in cosmology has 0 available edition to buy at Alibris/5(2).
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