(1962) account of "being-in-the-world" as a demonstration of the primacy
of practical space. As an elaboration of the pragmatic view of language and
space, the critical theory school identifies the way in which concepts of
language based around the proposition conceal and promote a pernicious
technological thinking that instills social inequalities. So, too, orthodox
concepts of space partition space in ways that reinforce and promote
structures of domination. Certain critical theorists suggest that space is
always socially constructed and that we need to recognize this in order to
free ourselves from these structures. Finally, Derrida's radical deconstructive
strategy (1976) further unsettles the propositional basis of language (and other
orthodoxies), and also shows how the conquest of space normally associated
with writing (and by inference print and electronic communications) has
always been present in language. By implication, there is nothing transcendent
about electronic communications. Derrida also sees space as social and resists
any attempt to disclose its essence as information. Each of these positions is
outlined in detail in this chapter.
What is information? The concept of information features prominently
among systems theorists, cognitive scientists and some analytical philosophers.
A survey of the field is provided by Fox (1983), who also outlines the
problems of information from the point of view of systems theory. Fox takes
the ordinary language usage of 'information' as his starting point. The view
of information developed by the systems theorists Shannon and Weaver
(1971) is that there are sentences and these yield information content.
Information is placed into sentences by the person writing or speaking
those sentences, and information is conveyed by the sentences as they are
transported around in books, conveyed through the air as sounds or passed
through electronic networks. The information is then unpacked from the
sentences by someone reading, hearing or otherwise interpreting the sentences.
According to this view, sentences have 'information content'. This view
of information trades in the metaphor of containment (information is to
sentences as water is to a vessel) and the metaphor of the conduit (information
is passed through channels from a transmitter to a receiver).
According to Fox, information is a less mysterious concept if seen simply
in terms of the 'proposition'. What is a proposition? According to the early