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Information and the History of Philosophy

Edited by: Chris Meyns

Print publication date:  June  2021
Online publication date:  June  2021

Print ISBN: 9780815355007
eBook ISBN: 9781351130752
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781351130752
 Cite  Marc Record

Book description

In recent years the philosophy of information has emerged as an important area of research in philosophy. However, until now information?s philosophical history has been largely overlooked.

Information and the History of Philosophy is the first comprehensive investigation of the history of philosophical questions around information, including work from before the Common Era to the twenty-first century. It covers scientific and technology-centred notions of information, views of human information processing, as well as socio-political topics such as the control and use of information in societies.

Organised into five parts, 19 chapters by an international team of contributors cover the following topics and more:

  • Information before 500 CE, including ancient Chinese, Greek and Roman approaches to information;
  • Early theories of information processing, sources of information and cognition;
  • Information and computation in Leibniz, visualised scientific information, copyright and social reform;
  • The nineteenth century, including biological information, knowledge economies and information?s role in empire and eugenics;
  • Recent and contemporary philosophy of information, including racialised information, Shannon information and the very idea of an information revolution.

Information and the History of Philosophy is a landmark publication in this emerging field. As such, it is essential reading for students and researchers in the history of philosophy, philosophy of science and technology, and library and information studies. It is also a valuable resource for those working in subjects such as the history of science, media and communication studies and intellectual history.

Table of contents

Prelims Download PDF
Introduction Download PDF
Chapter  1:  Yinyang information Download PDF
Chapter  2:  Plato on the act of informing Download PDF
Chapter  3:  On information in Aristotle Download PDF
Chapter  4:  Information and history of psychiatry Download PDF
Chapter  5:  Vācaspati on aboutness and decomposition  Download PDF
Chapter  6:  Seeing and recognition in the Arabian Nights and Islamic Alexander legends Download PDF
Chapter  7:  Avicenna on information processing and abstraction Download PDF
Chapter  8:  Thomas Aquinas on cognition as information Download PDF
Chapter  9:  Leibniz as a precursor to Chaitin’s Algorithmic Information Theory  Download PDF
Chapter  10:  Information visualisation in the Philosophical Transactions  Download PDF
Chapter  11:  ‘Dwindled into confusion and nonsense’ Download PDF
Chapter  12:  Information in the pursuit of social reform Download PDF
Chapter  13:  The nineteenth-century information revolution and world peace Download PDF
Chapter  14:  Charles Babbage’s economy of knowledge Download PDF
Chapter  15:  Mendel on developmental information Download PDF
Chapter  16:  Information and eugenics Download PDF
Chapter  17:  The racialization of information Download PDF
Chapter  18:  The many faces of Shannon information Download PDF
Chapter  19:  Computers and system(s) science—the kingpins of modern technology Download PDF
Index Download PDF
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