Information as the Basis for Representation

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Information as the Basis for Representation

ABSTRACT: The article presents a proposal to use the notion of information and a model of its transmission for analysis of the structure and basic functions of a sign. This is to point to the relation between information and the basic function of a sign, that is, a 'representation.' A sign is understood, in accordance with Peirce's theory, as a triadic relation of representation. One of the consequences of this theory is limitation of representation to the area of internal objects of a sign, that is, to ideal intentional objects. The relationship between a sign and the external world remains unexplained, which allows one to perceive a sign as a barrier in comprehension of the external world. A more complete justification is also required for both the relationship between object and meaning of the sign and the very arising of representation as a unity of three elements. The article analyzes the triadic relation of representation on the basis of the notion of information close to the one proposed by C.F. von Weizsacker. It is shown that representation can be understood as a specific, complex information flow. Processes of information flow determine the structure of representation as well as the relationships between the world of signs and the world beyond signs. Such approach allows one to give a more complete justification to the ability of sign systems to represent the external world.

The issue of sign, its nature, function and role in cognition have be repeatedly discussed by philosophy. The objective of this paper is to place the issue of sign within the context of information theory. It seems that exciting consequences concerning understanding of the nature and function of the ...

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...clude questions of relationship between language and extra-linguistic reality, issue of interpretation as well as empirical components within language. Repeatedly brought forward issue of ability of language to communicate contents concerning extralingual objects, in this context gets down to a holistic treatment of the issue of objective reference and interpretation as elements of information flow process.


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3. Buczyäska Garewicz Hanna, Znak i Oczywistoü. (Sign and Manifestness), Warszawa 1981.

4. Peirce Charles S., Collected papers Volumes 1-6, Cambridge 1931-1935.

5. Pharies D. A., Charles Peirce and the Linguistic Sign, Amsterdam/Philadelphia 1985.

6. Weizsacker Carl, F., Die Einheit der Natur, Munchen 1971.
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