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Glossary

Some philosophical and archival terms defined
Click one of the letters above to advance the page to terms beginning with that letter.

A

Agent

System, situated within and a part of an environment, wich initiates a transformation, produces an effect, or exerts power on it over time.

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C

Content

The content of a message is not what you actually see when you read something, but the things the message refers to.

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E

Entropy

Destruction of informational objects.

Epistemology

Epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge.

Essence

The attribute or set of attributes that make an entity or substance what it fundamentally is, and which it has by necessity, and without which it loses its identity.

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F

Fidelity

The accurate transfer of the original message from sender to receiver.

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I

Information

The term ‘information’ in colloquial speech is currently predominantly used as an abstract mass-noun used to denote any amount of data, code or text that is stored, sent, received or manipulated in any medium.

Information

GDI) σ is an instance of information, understood as semantic content,
if and only if:
GDI.1) σ onsists of n data, for n ≥ 1;
GDI.2) the data are well formed;
GDI.3) the well-formed data are meaningful.

Infosphere

The whole informational environment constituted by all informational entities, their properties, interactions, processes, and mutual relations.

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K

Knowledge

Knowledge means something very precise in epistemology:
- it is content that is at least true (epistemologists speak of true beliefs) and
- possibly justified, that is, supported by some good reasons (guessing correctly that p is not yet knowing that p).

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L

Level of Abstraction

A LoA is a specific set of typed variables, intuitively representable as an interface, which establishes the scope and type of data that will be available as a resource for the generation of information.

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M

Moral agent

Any interactive, autonomous, and adaptable transition system that can perform morally qualifiable actions.

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O

Ontology

Ontology is the metaphysical study of the nature of being, becoming, existence, or reality, as well as the basic categories of being and their relations.

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R

Re-ontologizing

A very radical form of re-engineering, one that not only designs, constructs of stuctures a system anew, but one that fundamentaly transforms its intrinsic nature, that is, its ontology or essence.

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S

Semantic information

Well formed and meaningful and truthful data.

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