Synthese 168 (1):151 - 178 (2009)

Luciano Floridi
Oxford University
The paper argues that digital ontology (the ultimate nature of reality is digital, and the universe is a computational system equivalent to a Turing Machine) should be carefully distinguished from informational ontology (the ultimate nature of reality is structural), in order to abandon the former and retain only the latter as a promising line of research. Digital vs. analogue is a Boolean dichotomy typical of our computational paradigm, but digital and analogue are only “modes of presentation” of Being (to paraphrase Kant), that is, ways in which reality is experienced or conceptualised by an epistemic agent at a given level of abstraction. A preferable alternative is provided by an informational approach to structural realism, according to which knowledge of the world is knowledge of its structures. The most reasonable ontological commitment turns out to be in favour of an interpretation of reality as the totality of structures dynamically interacting with each other. The paper is the first part (the pars destruens) of a two-part piece of research. The pars construens, entitled “A Defence of Informational Structural Realism”, is developed in a separate article, also published in this journal.
Keywords Analogue  Continuous  Digital  Digital ontology  Digital physics  Discrete  Informational structural realism  Kant’s antinomies  Structural realism
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-008-9334-6
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References found in this work BETA

Computing Machinery and Intelligence.Alan M. Turing - 1950 - Mind 59 (October):433-60.

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Citations of this work BETA

Neutral Monism.Leopold Stubenberg - 2005 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Syntactical Informational Structural Realism.Majid Beni - 2018 - Minds and Machines 28 (4):623-643.
Information Ethics: A Reappraisal.Luciano Floridi - 2008 - Ethics and Information Technology 10 (2–3):189–204.
Epistemic Informational Structural Realism.Majid Beni - 2016 - Minds and Machines 26 (4):323-339.

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