Dear Soren,

I agree with Stan's wording, but your wording is ambiguous. The meaning is not biologically given, but constructed in a discourse among biologists. The discourse can also be theological and then one obtains "theological" meaning.


Loet Leydesdorff

Professor emeritus, University of Amsterdam
Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR) <>; Associate Faculty, SPRU, <>University of Sussex;

Guest Professor Zhejiang Univ. <>, Hangzhou; Visiting Professor, ISTIC, <>Beijing;

Visiting Fellow, Birkbeck <>, University of London;

------ Original Message ------
From: "Søren Brier" <>
To: "Stanley N Salthe" <>; "fis" <>
Sent: 2/26/2018 6:41:25 PM
Subject: Re: [Fis] A Paradox

Thanks Stan. I agree: Behind production and interpretation of all quantitative data, there is either an biological or an existential or a religious or a philosophical framework of meaning.



From: Stanley N Salthe []
Sent: 26. februar 2018 16:19
To: Søren Brier <>; fis <>
Subject: Re: [Fis] A Paradox

Following upon Søren: Meaning is derived for a system by way of Interpretation. The transmitted information has no meaning without interpretation.


On Mon, Feb 26, 2018 at 6:26 AM, Søren Brier <> wrote:

Dear  Xueshan

The solution to the paradox is to go to a metaparadigm that can encompass information science as well as linguistics. C.S. Peirce’s semiotics is such a paradigm especially if you can integrate cybernetics and systems theory with it. There is a summary of the framework of Cybersemiotics here:

Cordially yours

                 Søren Brier

Depart. of Management, Society and Comunication, CBS, Dalgas Have 15 (2VO25), 2000 Frederiksberg

Mobil 28494162 ,

Fra: Fis [] På vegne af Xueshan Yan
Sendt: 26. februar 2018 10:47
Til: FIS Group <>
Emne: [Fis] A Paradox

Dear colleagues,

In my teaching career of Information Science, I was often puzzled by the following inference, I call it Paradox of Meaning and Information or Armenia Paradox. In order not to produce unnecessary ambiguity, I state it below and strictly limit our discussion within the human context.

Suppose an earthquake occurred in Armenia last night and all of the main media of the world have given the report about it. On the second day, two students A and B are putting forward a dialogue facing the newspaper headline “Earthquake Occurred in Armenia Last Night”:

Q: What is the MEANING contained in this sentence?

A: An earthquake occurred in Armenia last night.

Q: What is the INFORMATION contained in this sentence?

A: An earthquake occurred in Armenia last night.

Thus we come to the conclusion that MEANING is equal to INFORMATION, or strictly speaking, human meaning is equal to human information. In Linguistics, the study of human meaning is called Human Semantics; In Information Science, the study of human information is called Human Informatics.

Historically, Human Linguistics has two definitions: 1, It is the study of human language; 2, It, also called Anthropological Linguistics or Linguistic Anthropology, is the historical and cultural study of a human language. Without loss of generality, we only adopt the first definitions here, so we regard Human Linguistics and Linguistics as the same.

Due to Human Semantics is one of the disciplines of Linguistics and its main task is to deal with the human meaning, and Human Informatics is one of the disciplines of Information Science and its main task is to deal with the human information; Due to human meaning is equal to human information, thus we have the following corollary:

A: Human Informatics is a subfield of Human Linguistics.

According to the definition of general linguists, language is a vehicle for transmitting information, therefore, Linguistics is a branch of Human Informatics, so we have another corollary:

B: Human Linguistics is a subfield of Human Informatics.

Apparently, A and B are contradictory or logically unacceptable. It is a paradox in Information Science and Linguistics. In most cases, a settlement about the related paradox could lead to some important discoveries in a subject, but how should we understand this paradox?

Best wishes,


Fis mailing list

Fis mailing list

Reply via email to