Information and semantic cognition: An ontological account

Mind and Language 3 (2):81-122 (1988)
Information is the fuel of cognition. At its most basic level, information is a matter of structures interacting under laws. The notion of information thus reflects the (relational) fact that a structure is created by the impact of another structure. The impacted structure is an encoding, in some concrete form, of the interaction with the impacting structure. Information is, essentially, the structural trace in some system of an interaction with another system; it is also, as a consequence, the structural fuel which drives the impacted system's subsequent processes and behavior. Information takes various forms because the world has many levels of compositional and functional complexity, under different constraints. The key constraints that matter in the understanding of information are natural patterns of organization, or types, and systematic correlations among types, or laws. These level- sensitive constraints, in the form of types and laws, shape the very form in which information is tokened in some structure, that is, the very form in which it is encoded. As a result, the information-producing interactions bring about different sorts of structures, with various sorts of causal effects and functions, whence so many ways in which information is coded and utilized.
Keywords Cognition  Information  Language  Material  Semantics
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DOI 10.1111/j.1468-0017.1988.tb00136.x
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Orlin Vakarelov (2010). Pre-Cognitive Semantic Information. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 23 (2):193-226.

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