Conflations in the Causal Account of Information Undermine the Parity Thesis

Philosophy of Science 78 (2):284-302 (2011)
The received view in philosophy of biology is that there is a well-understood, philosophically rigorous account of information—causal information. I argue that this view is mistaken. Causal information is fatally undermined by misinterpretations and conflations between distinct independent accounts of information. As a result, philosophical arguments based on causal information are deeply flawed. I end by briefly considering what a correct application of the relevant accounts of information would look like in the biological context.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/659230
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 20,887
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Claude Shannon (1948). A Mathematical Theory of Communication. Bell System Technical Journal 27:379–423.
John Maynard Smith (2000). Reply to Commentaries. Philosophy of Science 67 (2):214-218.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Grant Ramsey (2013). Culture in Humans and Other Animals. Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):457-479.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Ulrich E. Stegmann (2009). Dna, Inference, and Information. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 60 (1):1-17.
Barton Moffatt, “A Reexamination of Biological Information From the Perspective of Practice”. Society of Philosophy of Science in Practice Conference Paper (2009).
Fred Dretske (1990). Putting Information to Work. In Philip P. Hanson (ed.), Information, Language and Cognition. University of British Columbia Press
Marcel Weber (2005). Genes, Causation and Intentionality. History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):399-411.
Osamu Kiritani (2008). Proper Names and Local Information. Journal of Mind and Behavior 29 (3):281-284.
Jim Bogen & Peter Machamer (2011). Mechanistic Information and Causal Continuity. In Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo & Jon Williamson (eds.), Causality in the Sciences. OUP Oxford

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

26 ( #149,868 of 1,907,276 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

2 ( #343,301 of 1,907,276 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.