Dear Pedro, Dear FISers,


In the 2 weeks I have been away, an excellent discussion has self-organized as 
Pedro noted. Any preliminary comments and criticisms of Pedro’s 10 Principles I 
could make now can refer to this. I would have said first that Pedro is to be 
thanked for this construction. Preparing a list of principles involves defining 
not only the content but also the number, order and relation between the 
entries. Zou, Stan and Ted in particular have recognized the existence of the 
list as such and the work involved.


My own view is that we are all currently involved in reworking the Foundations 
of Information Science. These Foundations are not themselves science, but they 
look forward to the increased understanding of Information Science as Terry 
suggests. I propose the term “Pre-Science” for this process activity, a pun on 
the word ‘prescience’ whose normal definition is foreknowledge or foresight. 
The people who tend to make mistakes in this effort will be those who claim 
that any simple concept or set of concepts can do the job itself, supported by 
claims to authorities such as Peirce. Sets of principles, on the other hand, 
are tools more difficult to use but they permit directed consideration of 
several perspectives at the same time.


Principles are the basis for an interpretation of what is in the physical and 
biological processes that are the proper subjects for non-computational 
Information Science, without – yet – providing any explanations. Now this is a 
lot more philosophical that may have been expected when the discussion started. 
However, today, unlike when Pedro and his colleagues started out, we have the 
Philosophy of Information of Luciano Floridi and Wu Kun to work with, as well 
as my logic. I am surprised that no-one has yet referred to Floridi or Wu. 


Going back over the postings to-date, I have noted a few which seem 
constitutive of a ‘Pre-Science’ of Information: Emmanuel’s ‘duality’, Stan’s 
hierarchies; Michel Godron’s and John Torday’s bridges to biology, Pedro’s 
reworking of communication, etc. I will resist comments that the concepts of 
Pre-Science are to be thrown out as part of non-science or ‘just’ philosophy. 
As Koichiro clearly said on 20.09, information can, and in my view is already, 
bringing in something new empirically to questions of space and time.  In the 
Pre-Science of Information, ideally, it should be possible to retain mechanism 
and materialism or realism; computationalism and non- or natural 
computationalism; information as a physical reality and a non-physical 


I look forward with great interest to the lines of development of this thread.


Best wishes,



  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Pedro C. Marijuan 
  To: 'fis' 
  Sent: Friday, September 15, 2017 2:13 PM
  Subject: [Fis] PRINCIPLES OF IS

  Dear FIS Colleagues,

  As promised herewith the "10 principles of information science". A couple of 
previous comments may be in order. 
  First, what is in general the role of principles in science? I was motivated 
by the unfinished work of philosopher Ortega y Gasset, "The idea of principle 
in Leibniz and the evolution of deductive theory" (posthumously published in 
1958). Our tentative information science seems to be very different from other 
sciences, rather multifarious in appearance and concepts, and cavalierly moving 
from scale to scale. What could be the specific role of principles herein? 
Rather than opening homogeneous realms for conceptual development, these 
information principles would appear as a sort of "portals" that connect with 
essential topics of other disciplines in the different organization layers, but 
at the same time they should try to be consistent with each other and provide a 
coherent vision of the information world.
  And second, about organizing the present discussion, I bet I was too 
optimistic with the commentators scheme. In any case, for having a first glance 
on the whole scheme, the opinions of philosophers would be very interesting. In 
order to warm up the discussion, may I ask John Collier, Joseph Brenner and 
Rafael Capurro to send some initial comments / criticisms? Later on, if the 
commentators idea flies, Koichiro Matsuno and Wolfgang Hofkirchner would be 
very valuable voices to put a perspectival end to this info principles 
discussion (both attended the Madrid bygone FIS 1994 conference)... 
  But this is FIS list, unpredictable in between the frozen states and the 
chaotic states! So, everybody is invited to get ahead at his own, with the only 
customary limitation of two messages per week.

  Best wishes, have a good weekend --Pedro


  1. Information is information, neither matter nor energy.

  2. Information is comprehended into structures, patterns, messages, or flows.

  3. Information can be recognized, can be measured, and can be  processed 
(either computationally or non-computationally).

  4. Information flows are essential organizers of life's self-production 
processes--anticipating, shaping, and mixing up with the accompanying energy 

  5. Communication/information exchanges among adaptive life-cycles underlie 
the complexity of biological organizations at all scales.

  6. It is symbolic language what conveys the essential communication exchanges 
of the human species--and constitutes the core of its "social nature." 

  7. Human information may be systematically converted into efficient 
knowledge, by following the "knowledge instinct" and further up by applying 
rigorous methodologies.

  8. Human cognitive limitations on knowledge accumulation are partially 
overcome via the social organization of "knowledge ecologies." 

  9. Knowledge circulates and recombines socially, in a continuous 
actualization that involves "creative destruction" of fields and disciplines: 
the intellectual Ars Magna. 

  10. Information science proposes a new, radical vision on the information and 
knowledge flows that support individual lives, with profound consequences for 
scientific-philosophical practice and for social governance. 

Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta 0
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)


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