Semantic Information

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A Semantic Information is an information that carries significance or meaning for a given system or conceptual entity.



  • (Floridi, 2019) ⇒ Luciano Floridi (2019). "Semantic Conceptions of Information", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Summer 2019 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).
    • QUOTE: Section 1 attempts to draw a map of the main senses in which one may speak of semantic information, and does so by relying on the analysis of the concept of data (depicted in Figure 1 below). Sometimes the several concepts of information organised in the map can be variously coupled together. This should not be taken as necessarily a sign of confusion, for in some philosophers it may be the result of an intentional bridging. The map is not exhaustive and it is there mainly in order to avoid some obvious pitfalls and to narrow the scope of this article, which otherwise could easily turn into a short version of the Encyclopedia Britannica. Its schematism is only a starting point for further research and the reader interested in knowing more may wish to consult Floridi (2011)[1] and Adriaans and van Benthem (2008)[2].

      After this initial orientation, Section 2 provides a brief introduction to information theory, that is, to the mathematical theory of communication (MTC). MTC deserves a space of its own because it is the quantitative approach to the analysis of information that has been most influential among several philosophers. It provides the necessary background to understand several contemporary theories of semantic information, especially Bar-Hillel and Carnap (1953) [3], Dretske (1981)[4] ...

      Figure 1: An informational map.

  1. Floridi, L. 2011, The Philosophy of Information, Oxford; Oxford University Press.
  2. Adriaans, P. and van Benthem, J. (ed.), 2008, Handbook of Philosophy of Information, Amsterdam, Oxford: Elsevier.
  3. Bar-Hillel, Y. and Carnap, R., 1953, “An Outline of a Theory of Semantic Information”, repr. in Bar-Hillel [1964], pp. 221-74.
  4. Dretske, F. I., 1981, Knowledge and the Flow of Information, Oxford: Blackwell; reprinted, Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, 1999.



  1. Shana Carpenter (2009). "Cue Strength As A Moderator Of The Testing Effect: The Benefits Of Elaborative Retrieval". Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 35(6), 1563. DOI:10.1037/a0017021