Dear Michel, 

The model allows us to entertain descriptions of future states in the
present. Thus, it makes the discursive system "strongly anticipatory" in the
sense of Daniel Dubois: a strongly anticipatory system uses its future state
for its shaping itself in the present. 

The strong antipation in the discourse can also be typified as discursive
knowledge. Unlike personal (e.g., tacit) knowledge, the further codification
of the communication (of information and meaning) thus can be considered as
an evolutionary mechanism. 

Res extensa is only historical; not evolutionary. As the retention of
previous information flows; footprints. Evolutionary mechanisms such as in
the res cogitans are not confined by the historical dimension, but can
operate with future states.

So: this was my second penny for this week!

Best wishes, 

-----Original Message-----
From: [] On
Behalf Of Michel Petitjean
Sent: Monday, September 19, 2011 4:44 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] Chemical information: a field of fuzzy contours ?

Dear Loet,
Thanks for your very good reply.
Yes information cannot be found as res extensa, justs as mathematics:
mathematics exist in our head, and can be communicated, can be taught, etc.,
but do not exist as concrete objects.
However, starting from data (and databanks), we can extract knowledge and
produce mathematical models, the so-called physical laws (note that many
math demonstrated math theorems still not apply to any physical situation).
They do not exist as objects, but they do exists as models of physical
Some years ago on a chemistry forum there was a debate about orbitals:
some tell that they do exist because they can be measured etc. (even void
orbitals ?), and some tell that it is just a current math model of the
reality with an acceptable degree of simplification. I am in favor of the
latter view: they exist, but as a model.
Information is as knowledge: it can be extracted and as such it exists, but
yes the "exists" is ambiguous, just as for orbitals.
All my best,

2011/9/19 Loet Leydesdorff <>:
> Dear Michel,
> Ø  Stating that information does not exist may be compared to stating 
> that a cloud does not exist: it is hard to define it rigorously and 
> its frontiers are highly fuzzy, but everybody is sure that it exists.
> The problem is here the “exist”. This easily lead to reification. For 
> example, you formulate:
> Ø  Thus I would not seek information here.
> In my opinion, “information” can be entertained as a concept in a
> It can then also be defined, for example, as probabilistic entropy. I 
> like Husserl’s term “cogitatum” which he added in “the Cartesian 
> Meditations” to Descartes distinction between res extensa and res 
> cogitans. Information cannot to be found as res extensa.
> Best wishes,
> Loet

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