Informational notions have become all-pervasive in the natural sciences during the last seven decades. Some of these concepts are used as referring to informational structures conveying meaning or having semantic content, like in ‘this gene has information about a phenotype’ or ‘the observer lacks information about the system’s microstate’. This kind of information is called ‘semantic information’ (Floridi 2011). In talk, I comparatively assess the usage of semantic information concepts in classical statistical mechanics and molecular biology, two of the most information-driven physical and biological fields. On the one hand, I aim to frame how semantic information notions can be used as scientific concepts by providing cognitive tools to model knowledge-based dynamics in physics and causal networks in biology. On the other hand, I also aim to philosophically analyze whether the uses of semantic information concepts might be epistemically relevant in these natural sciences, in terms of whether these notions can be somehow exploited (via heuristics, explanations or predictions) to obtain knowledge about physical and biological phenomena. Then, I conclude by defending a skeptical position regarding the epistemic power of semantic information concepts in the natural sciences.
O seminário será realizado presencialmente, no Anfiteatro da FCiências.ID, mas será possível assistir também em videoconferência, via Zoom.
Morada Anfiteatro da FCiências.ID
Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Edifício C1, Piso 3
Campo Grande, Lisboa