Dear Francesco,
Thank you so much for your enlightening post on logic that is rising the topic 
one level up.
You refer to Hegel who recognised complementary relationship between quality, 
quantity and their synthesis – measure, which is very central for the current 
I made English translation of your mail (below) and I hope it is adequate 

However, in your mail, if I understand it correctly, and in the rest of the 
current discussion, it is assumed that mathematics is quantitative science.
As we are in the beginning of the era of big data that makes people believe 
that “data speak for themselves” and that sciences just collect and 
summarise/systematically represent data, it is very important to point out that 
mathematics is much, much more than data and its processing.
It is qualitative science in the same sense that logic is. Algebra is not 
quantitative science. Algebra is the study of mathematical symbols and the 
rules for manipulating these symbols. Topology is not quantitative science. 
Topology is the study of qualitative properties of topological spaces that are 
invariant under certain kinds of transformations.

Here is an explanation why it is essential not to identify quantitative 
literacy with mathematics.

All the best,

From: Fis <<>> 
on behalf of Francesco Rizzo 
Date: Sunday, 19 November 2017 at 07:56
To: "<>" 
Cc: FIS Group <<>>
Subject: Re: [Fis] some notes

Dear colleagues,
existence implies articulate knowledge in the various sciences of nature, human 
and social. So the "Science of Logic", not the logic of science, by Georg 
Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1812-1816) applies to any kind of science. In fact, 
pure science of reason is divided into three doctrines of:
- being (quantity, quality and their unity - measure);
- essence, which studies thought in its reflection or mediation, that is, the 
concept as it is "per se" and thus appears;
- concept, study of the concept "in itself and for itself".
The first presentation of reality takes place in the immediate, intuitive forms 
of quality, quantity and measure, but one must grasp what is hidden origin in 
the reality of being: the essence that represents the "truth of being".
Hegel's reinterpretation provides ontological foundations to (the theory of) 
economic value conceived as a combination or energy / information relationship 
based on dialectical quantity / quality and "qualitative quantity" or measure. 
Hegel does not contrast the quantity with quality, but tries to gain 
complementarity by deriving the first from the second. Quantity is the denial 
of quality. Quantity and quality vary continuously, they are characterized by 
variability, but quantitative variation is indifferent to the quality that does 
not change with the change in the quantitative dimension. If the quantity is a 
time of outwardness indifferent to the sphere of quality, it justifies or 
explains Hegel's lack of consideration for purely quantitative considerations 
and therefore for those quantitative or hard mathematical sciences. He believes 
that the propositions of geometry and arithmetic have an exclusively analytical 
and therefore tautological nature, denying them all heuristic efficacy.
This strong criticism of the rigor and scientific validity of mathematical 
models does not prevent him from carrying out an analysis that highlights the 
inadequacy of determinations,
quantitative for the same mathematics, in which, according to this 
philosophical approach that strongly influences scientific epistemology, it 
raises qualitative criteria making it become "sweet." If maths are forced to 
incorporate qualitative or ordinal criteria, they have to move to the sphere of 
measure or "qualitative quantity".
Of course, the science of logic has served me to elaborate the New Economy (see 
in particular Rizzo F., "Science can not be human, civil, social, economics 
(c), enigmatic, noble, prophetic", Aracne , Rome, 2016, pp. 604-615; or Rizzo 
F., "The City of Man, Subordinated to Faith", in Human Rights and the City 
Crisis by Corrado Beguinot et al., Giannini, Naples, 2012).
So, to make it short, "qualitative quantity", "emo-rationality" and "meaning, 
information, communication" are fundamental to the whole of knowledge.
I apologize for being overdue and thank you in advance for your critical 

From: Fis <<>> 
on behalf of Francesco Rizzo 
Date: Sunday, 19 November 2017 at 07:56
To: "<>" 
Cc: FIS Group <<>>
Subject: Re: [Fis] some notes

Cari colleghi,
l'esistenza implica la conoscenza articolata nelle diverse scienze della 
natura, umane e sociali. Quindi la "Science of Logic" , non la logica della 
di Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1812-1816) vale per qualsiasi tipo di 
scienza. Difatti la scienza pura della ragione si divide in tre dottrine:
- dell'essere (quantità, qualità e misura);
- dell'essenza, che studia il pensiero nella sua riflessione o mediazione, cioè 
il concetto in quanto è "per sè" e dunque appare;
- del concetto, che studia il concetto "in sè e per sè".
Il primo presentarsi della realtà avviene nelle forme immediate, intuitive, 
della qualità, quantità e misura, ma bisogna cogliere ciò che è all'origine 
nella realtà dell'essere: l'essenza che rappresenta la "verità dell'essere".
La rilettura di Hegel fornisce i fondamenti ontologici al(la teoria del) valore 
economica concepita come una combinazione o una relazione energia/informazione 
basata sulla
dialettica quantità/qualità e sulla "quantità qualitativa" o misura. Hegel non 
contrappone la quantità alla qualità, ma tenta di coglierne la complementarità 
facendo derivare la prima dalla seconda. La quantità è la negazione della 
qualità. Quantità e qualità variano continuamente, sono caratterizzate dalla 
variabilità, ma la variazione quantitativa è indifferente nei confronti della 
qualità che non cambia al mutare della dimensione quantitativa. Se la quantità 
è un momento di esteriorità indifferente alla sfera della qualità si giustifica 
o spiega la scarsa consi derazione di Hegel per le trattazioni puramente 
quantitative e dunque per quelle scienze matematiche quantitative o dure.  Egli 
ritiene che le proposizioni della geometria e dell'aritmetica abbiano una 
natura esclusivamente analitica e dunque tautologica, negando loro ogni 
efficacia euristica.
Questa forte critica al rigore e alla validità scientifica dei modelli 
matematici non gli impedisce di svolgere un'analisi che evidenzia 
l'insufficienza delle determinazioni,
quantitative per la stessa matematica nella quale, secondo questa impostazione 
filosofica che influenza fortemente l'epistemologia scientifica, irrompono 
criteri qualitativi facendola divenire  "dolce". Se la matematica è costretta  
incorporare criteri qualitativi o ordinali, deve far proprio il passaggio alla 
sfera della misura o "quantità qualitativa".
Beninteso, la scienza della logica mi è servita per elaborare la Nuova economia 
(Cfr. in particolare Rizzo F., "La scienza non può non essere umana, civile, 
sociale, economi(c)a, enigmatica, nobile, profetica", Aracne, Roma, 2016, pp. 
604-615; oppure Rizzo F.,  "La città dell'uomo. Sottesa dalla fede", in Human 
Rights and The City Crisis a cura di Corrado Beguinot ed altri, Giannini, 
Napoli, 2012).
Quindi, per farla breve, "quantità qualitativa", "emo-ra-zionalità" e 
"significazione, informazione, comunicazione" sono fondamentali per l'INTERA  
Chiedo scusa per essermi dilungato e vi ringrazio anticipatamente per la vostra 
attenzione critica.

2017-11-19 6:34 GMT+01:00 Xueshan Yan <<>>:
Dear Terry and Loet,
I think both of your posts put forward a very important concept to information 
studies, i.e., HIERARCHY.
Terry stated: "Communication needs to be more carefully distinguished from mere 
transfer of physical differences, …… Any transfer of physical, physical 
differences in this respect can be utilized to communicate, and all 
communication requires this physical foundation."
I hope to raise a similar question: what is the mode of the existence of 
information? My answer is: No information can exist in a bare way. That is to 
say, any existence of information is premised on the existence of substrate, 
and the substrate can be hierarchical. In the same way, no information can be 
communicated or processed in a bare way if and only if it has been embedded in 
the substrate. In human information, substrate can be divided into sign, paper, 
etc., or other electronic devices. In genetic information, substrate can be 
divided into base, DNA or RNA, chromosome, cell, and organism. The study about 
the mode of existence of information is an important aspect of ontological 
research of information science.
In Terry’s statement: "Simply collapsing our concept (compression, collapse) of 
'communication' to its physical substrate ……", or in Loet’s words: "One should 
not confuse communication with the substance of communication." Again, this is 
a hierarchy problem. Because no information can be communicated in a bare way, 
so the communication of information is premised on the communication of 
substrate, the same is true in the processing of information. Then, any 
communication of information is twofold: communication of information and 
communication of substrate. The study about the mode of communication and 
processing of information is the important aspect of dynamical research of 
information science.

Best wishes,
[<>] On 
Behalf Of Loet Leydesdorff
Sent: Saturday, November 18, 2017 4:19 PM
To: Terrence W. DEACON <<>>; fis 
Subject: Re: [Fis] some notes

Dear Terry and colleagues,

I agree that one should not confuse communication with the substance of 
communication (e.g., life in bio-semiotics). It seems useful to me to 
distinguish between several concepts of "communication".

1. Shannon's (1948) definitions in "The Mathematical Theory of Communication". 
Information is communicated, but is yet meaning free. These notions of 
information and communication are counter-intuitive (Weaver, 1949). However, 
they provide us with means for the measurement, such as bits of information. 
The meaning of the communication is provided by the system of reference (Theil, 
1972); in other words, by the specification of "what is comunicated?" For 
example, if money is communicated (redistributed), the system of reference is a 
transaction system. If molecules are communicated, life can be generated 

2. Information as "a difference which makes a difference" (Bateson, 1973; 
McKay, 1969). A difference can only make a difference for a receiving system 
that provides meaning to the system. In my opinion, one should in this case 
talk about "meaningful information" and "meaningful communication" as different 
from the Shannon-type information (based on probability distributions). In this 
case, we don't have a clear instrument for the measurement. For this reason, I 
have a preference for the definitions under 1.

3. Interhuman communication is of a different order because it involves 
intentionality and language. The discourses under 1. and 2. are interhuman 
communication systems. (One has to distinguish levels and should not impose our 
intuitive notion of communication on the processes under study.) In my opinion, 
interhuman communication involves both communication of information and 
possibilities of sharing meaning.

The Shannon-type information shares with physics the notion of entropy. 
However, physical entropy is dimensioned (Joule/Kelvin; S = k(B) H), whereas 
probabilistic entropy is dimensionless (H). Classical physics, for example, is 
based on the communication of momenta and energy because these two quantities 
have to be conserved. In the 17th century, it was common to use the word 
"communication" in this context (Leibniz).


------ Original Message ------
From: "Terrence W. DEACON" <<>>
To: "fis" <<>>
Cc: "Pedro C. Marijuan" 
<<>>; "Loet 
Leydesdorff" <<>>
Sent: 11/17/2017 6:34:18 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] some notes

On communication:

"Communication" needs to be more carefully distinguished from mere
transfer of physical differences from location to location and time to
time. Indeed, any physical transfer of physical differences in this
respect can be utilized to communicate, and all communication requires
this physical foundation. But there is an important hierarchic
distinction that we need to consider. Simply collapsing our concept of
'communication' to its physical substrate (and ignoring the process of
interpretation) has the consequence of treating nearly all physical
processes as communication and failing to distinguish those that
additionally convey something we might call representational content.

Thus while internet communication and signals transferred between
computers do indeed play an essential role in human communication, we
only have to imagine a science fiction story in which all human
interpreters suddenly disappear but our computers nevertheless
continue to exchange signals, to realize that those signals are not
"communicating" anything. At that point they would only be physically
modifying one another, not communicating, except in a sort of
metaphoric sense. This sort of process would not be fundamentally
different from solar radiation modifying atoms in the upper atmosphere
or any other similar causal process. It would be odd to say that the
sun is thereby communicating anything to the atmosphere.

So, while I recognize that there are many methodological contexts in
which it makes little difference whether or not we ignore this
semiotic aspect, as many others have also hinted, this is merely to
bracket from consideration what really distinguishes physical transfer
of causal influence from communication. Remember that this was a
methodological strategy that even Shannon was quick to acknowledge in
the first lines of his classic paper. We should endeavor to always be
as careful.

— Terry

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