Chapter

The Decline of Meaning and the Rise of Information

in Holding On to Reality

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 1999 | ISBN: 9780226066257
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226066226 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226066226.003.0002
The Decline of Meaning and the Rise of Information

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During the second half of the twentieth century, information that led an unremarkable semantic life gradually moved to take the central role. The idea of information was conceived as an answer to problems that were born at just about the time the word “information” was existing. When used to highlight contemporary culture, structural information, like text in deconstructionism, amounts to a distinction between everything and nothing. Cognitive information is a fruitful focus for physiology, psychology, and cognitive science; in social and cultural theory, it has been an unsettling force to some and a liberating one to others. The leveling of the distinction between direct and indirect knowledge and of the difference between the nearness and farness of reality is not the result of a wrong move in epistemology, but a reflection of the historic decline of meaning.

Keywords: information; semantic life; structural information; cognitive information; direct and indirect knowledge

Chapter.  2887 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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