OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

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Information: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199551378

Price(incl.tax): 
¥1,628
Author: 
Luciano Floridi
Pages
152 Pages
Format
Paperback
Size
113 x 174 mm
Pub date
Feb 2010
Series
Very Short Introductions

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  • Explores a concept central to modern science and society, from thermodynamics and DNA to our use of the mobile phone and the Internet
  • Considers concepts such as 'Infoglut' (too much information to process) and the emergence of an information society
  • Addresses the meaning and value of information in science, sociology, and philosophy
  • Raises the broader social and ethical issues relating to privacy, accessibility, and ownership of information

  
television, radio, books, and of course, the Internet. Some say we suffer from 'infoglut'. But what is information? The concept of 'information' is a profound one, rooted in mathematics, central to whole branches of science, yet with implications on every aspect of our everyday lives: DNA provides the information to create us; we learn through the information fed to us; we relate to each other through information transfer - gossip, lectures, reading. Information is not only a mathematically powerful concept, but its critical role in society raises wider ethical issues: who owns information? Who controls its dissemination? Who has access to information?
 
Luciano Floridi, a philosopher of information, cuts across many subjects, from a brief look at the mathematical roots of information - its definition and measurement in 'bits'- to its role in genetics (we are information), and its social meaning and value. He ends by considering the ethics of information, including issues of ownership, privacy, and accessibility; copyright and open source. 
 
For those unfamiliar with its precise meaning and wide applicability as a philosophical concept, 'information' may seem a bland or mundane topic. Those who have studied some science or philosophy or sociology will already be aware of its centrality and richness. But for all readers, whether from the humanities or sciences, Floridi gives a fascinating and inspirational introduction to this most fundamental of ideas. 

Index: 

Introduction
1: The information revolution
2: The language of information
3: Mathematical information
4: Semantic information
5: Physical information
6: Biological information
7: Economic information
8: The ethics of information
Conclusion
References

About the author: 

Luciano Floridi is the Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the Oxford Internet Institute, and a fellow of St Cross College, Oxford University. He is the founder and director of the Oxford University Information Ethics Research Group. His research interests include the philosophy of information, information and computer ethics, epistemology and philosophy of logic, and the history and philosophy of scepticism. He is the author of Philosophy and Computing: An Introduction (Routledge, 1999) and editor of the Blackwell Guide to the Philosophy of Computing and Information (Blackwell, 2004).

"Splendidly pellucid." - Steven Poole, The Guardian

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