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Information Evaluation by Philippe Capet, Thomas Delavallade

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Chapter 1

Information: Philosophical Analysis and Strategic Applications

1.1. Introduction

Nowadays, it is commonly considered that we live in an information society. Our civilization is abundantly fed by information and communication technology (ICT). In the military context, information has always been an invaluable and sought-after commodity to which special services are devoted. Leaders in all sorts of contexts – particularly military – have, for centuries, been aware of the importance of information. It is all the more paradoxical that in the area of philosophy, thinkers have largely ignored the concept of information. It appears only incidentally in philosophers’ writings. It was not until thermodynamics, cybernetics and mathematical theorization of information took off that philosophers finally became interested in it, and even then, it was difficult to find a structured theorization centered on the notion of information.

In this chapter, we shall focus primarily on two aspects of this topic. To begin with, we shall look at the definition of an operational concept of information. In order to do so, following a brief state of the art on current thinking about the notion of information, we turn our attention more specifically to the genealogy of the term, before going on to discuss two of the three thinkers whom we believe are the most important in the area of philosophy of information: Paul Grice and Fred Dretske. The work of these two philosophers will help to sculpt the ...

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