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Knowledge and the Flow of Information
An attempt to develop a theory of knowledge and philosophy of mind using ideas derived from the mathematical theory of communication developed by Claude Shannon. Information is seen as an objective commodity defined by the dependency relations between distinct events. Knowledge is then analyzed as information caused belief. Perception is the delivery of information caused ...more
Paperback, 273 pages
Published February 20th 2003 by Center for the Study of Language and Inf
(first published January 1st 1981)
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Sep 23, 2007 Derek rated it it was amazing · review of another edition
Recommends it for: Naturalist philosophers
If you like your intentionality good and naturalized, you've got no better place to start than information theory, and Dretske was (as far as I know) the first to apply it to philosophy. Although a lot of his stuff on representation has since been tossed aside in favor of more sophisticated theories (e.g. those that can accomodate misrepresentation) the book evokes a lot of useful intuitions for the philosophy of mind and epistemology.
Very serviceable theory of information. Includes a theory of semantics based on etiological origin that is very clever and provides a palatable form of semantic externalism. Lack of probabilistic causation or information is interesting. I wonder if the theory could be adapted to something like Judea Pearl's models of causation.
Frederick Irwin Dretske is a philosopher noted for his contributions to epistemology and the philosophy of mind. Recent work centers on conscious experience and self-knowledge. He was awarded the Jean Nicod Prize in 1994. Dretske received his Ph.D from The University of Minnesota and taught for a number of years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to Stanford University. After ...moreMore about Fred I. Dretske...