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Does Semantic Information Need to be Truthful?
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5830-3432
2017 (English)In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

The concept of information has well-known difficulties. Among the many issues that have been discussed is the alethic nature of a semantic conception of information. Floridi (Minds Mach 14(2):197–222, 2004; Philos Phenomenol Res 70:351–370, 2005; EUJAP 3(1):31–41, 2007; The philosophy of information, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011) argued that semantic information must be truthful. In this article, arguments will be presented in favor of an alethically neutral conception of semantic information and it will be shown that such a conception can withstand Floridi’s criticism. In particular, it is argued that an alethically neutral conception of semantic information can manage the so-called Bar-Hillel Carnap paradox, according to which contradictions have maximum informational content. This issue, as well as some of Floridi’s other arguments, is resolved by disentangling the property of being information from the property of being informative. The essay’s final conclusion is that although semantic information is alethically neutral, a veridical conception of semantic information can, and should, be retained as a subconcept of semantic information (i.e., as veridical semantic information), as it is essential for the analysis of informativity, which, unlike the property of being information, depends on truth.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2017.
Keywords [en]
Bar-Hillel Carnap paradox; Floridi; Information liar paradox; Informativity; Philosophy of information; Semantic information; Veridicality thesis
National Category
Philosophy
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-198673DOI: 10.1007/s11229-017-1587-5Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85032033747OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-198673DiVA, id: diva2:1058257
Note

QC 20161220

Available from: 2017-01-17 Created: 2016-12-20 Last updated: 2018-04-25Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Semantic Information and Information Security: Definitional Issues
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Semantic Information and Information Security: Definitional Issues
2016 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This licentiate thesis consist of two separate research papers which concern two tangential topics – that of semantic information and that of information security. Both topics are approached by similar methods, i.e. with a concern about conceptual and definitional issues. In Paper I – concerning the concept of information, and a semantic conception thereof – the conceptual, and definitional, issues focus on one property, that of truthfulness. It is argued – against the veridicality thesis – that semantic information need not be truthful. In Paper II – concerning information security – it is argued that the current leading definitions (so-called ‘CIA’ definitions, which define information as secure if, and only if, the properties of confidentiality, integrity, and availability are retained) suffer from both actual and possible counter-examples, and lack an appropriate conceptual sense. On the basis of this criticism a new kind of definitions is proposed and argued for.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2016. p. 50
Series
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831 ; 57
Keywords
definitions, distinctions, philosophy of information, philosophy of risk, security, information, information security, semantics, semantic information, veridicality thesis, informativity, RIGHT, CIA
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-198630 (URN)978-91-7729-244-9 (ISBN)
Presentation
2017-02-07, 1515, Teknikringen 74D, Stockholm, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
SECURIT
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, H5392
Note

QC 20161220

Available from: 2017-01-17 Created: 2016-12-19 Last updated: 2017-01-25Bibliographically approved
2. Information, Security, Privacy, and Anonymity: Definitional and Conceptual Issues
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Information, Security, Privacy, and Anonymity: Definitional and Conceptual Issues
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This doctoral thesis consists of five research papers that address four tangential topics, all of which are relevant for the challenges we are facing in our socio-technical society: information, security, privacy, and anonymity. All topics are approached by similar methods, i.e. with a concern about conceptual and definitional issues. In Paper I—concerning the concept of information and a semantic conception thereof—it is argued that the veridicality thesis (i.e. that information must be true or truthful) is false. In Paper II—concerning information security—it is argued that the current leading definitions suffer from counter-examples, and lack an appropriate conceptual sense. Based on this criticism a new kind of definition is proposed and defended.  In Paper III—concerning control definitions of privacy—it is argued that any sensible control-definition of privacy must properly recognize the context as part of the defining criteria. In Paper IV—concerning the concept of privacy—it is argued that privacy is a normative concept and that it is constituted by our social relations. Final, in Paper V—concerning anonymity—it is argued that the threat from deanonymization technology goes beyond harm to anonymity. It is argued that a person who never is deanonymized can still be harmed and what is at stake is an ability to be anonymous.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2018. p. 70
Series
TRITA-ABE-DLT ; 1811
Keywords
definitions, distinctions, conceptual analysis, philosophy of information, philosophy of risk, security, information, information security, semantics, semantic information, veridicality thesis, informativity, appropriate access, CIA, privacy, control, context, pro tanto good, social relations, anonymity, deanonymization, ability to be anonymous
National Category
Philosophy
Research subject
Philosophy
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-226651 (URN)978-91-7729-759-8 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-06-04, Kollegiesalen, Brinellvägen 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Projects
SECURIT
Funder
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, H5300
Note

QC 20180425

Available from: 2018-04-25 Created: 2018-04-24 Last updated: 2018-04-25Bibliographically approved

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