The Limits of Measuring Information in Biology: an Ontological Approach

Biosemiotics 11 (3) (2018)
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The concept of biological information, and information in general, usually presupposes a purely quantitative view of reality. Even though actualist quantification has an important place in the description of the world, a nominalistic stance that tries to simplify reality in purely actualist terms inevitably runs into inconsistencies; these inconsistencies have been pointed out by the critical assessments of the notion of biological information. Rather than calling for an abandonment of the informational terminology, we try to rethink information as a part of an event, the description of which cannot be exhausted by a physicalist, mechanistic, temporally static view of reality. Reconceptualizing the notion of biological information in terms of a process of interpretation rather than as an informational object allows us to transcend the limitations imposed by an analysis of reality that depends on a fixed, finite structure of outcome. Thus, we argue that measuring biological information is intrinsically problematic.



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Alfonso Arroyo-Santos
National Autonomous University of Mexico

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Difference and repetition.Gilles Deleuze - 1994 - London: Athlone Press.
Collected Papers.Charles S. Peirce - 1931 - Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
Peirce's Theory of Signs.T. L. Short - 2007 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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