2. Philosophy of Information and Cognition

Chair: OrlinVakarelov (University of Arizona: <okv@u.arizona.edu>)

The concept of information has played a central role in cognitive science. In the early days of the cognitive revolution, information entered cognitive science both through the notion of computation in the “information processing” approach to cognition, and through the notion of environmental information in the ecological program of Gibson. Cognitive science has seen many changes of course, but the notion of information has persevered in one form or another, both informally as a heuristic notion and formally as mathematical theory of information. Still there is a lot of confusion and cross talk among users and critics of information in modeling cognition. This track aims to provide a venue for a discussion of the possible role of information, especially philosophical theories of information, in investigating cognition and mind, as well as the possible role of cognition and mind for understanding semantic information. Questions of special interest include:
(1) Is the notion of (semantic) information necessary for understanding cognition?
(2) Can non-representationalist theories of cognition accommodate notions of information and information processing?
(3) Is cognition/mind necessary for semantic information?
(4) Can some notion of (physical) information be used as a basis for developing a general theory of cognition?
(5) In cognition, does information reduce to computation?
(6) How do standard problems in the philosophy of information (like the list of 18 problems Floridi suggests) relate to philosophical debates about cognition and mind, and vice versa?
These questions are intended only as a guide. Any philosophical topic that connects philosophical, physical or formal theories of information to the phenomenon of cognition is welcome, unless the topic fits more naturally in another track of this conference. If we judge that a submission fits better in another track, it will be forwarded to that track‟s referees.

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