Conflations in the Causal Account of Information Undermine the Parity Thesis

Philosophy of Science 78 (2):284-302 (2011)
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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.



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Citations of this work

Culture in humans and other animals.Grant Ramsey - 2013 - Biology and Philosophy 28 (3):457-479.
Information, Cognition, and Objectivity.Nir Fresco - 2021 - American Philosophical Quarterly 58 (3):251-268.
Positional Information and the Measurement of Specificity.Alan C. Love - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):1061-1072.

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References found in this work

Knowledge and the Flow of Information.Fred I. Dretske - 1981 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 175 (1):69-70.
The concept of information in biology.John Maynard Smith - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (2):177-194.
A Mathematical Theory of Communication.Claude E. Shannon - 1948 - Bell System Technical Journal 27:379–423.

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