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The World as Evolving Information

By Carlos Gershenson

Abstract

This philosophical paper discusses the benefits of describing the world as information, especially in the study of the evolution of life and cognition. Traditional studies encounter difficulties because it is difficult to describe life and cognition in terms of matter and energy, falling into a dualist trap. However, if matter and energy, as well as life and cognition, are described in terms of information, evolution can be described consistently as information becoming more complex. Moreover, information theory is already well established and formalized. The paper presents five tentative laws of information, which are generalizations of Darwinian, cybernetic, thermodynamic, and complexity principles. These are further used to discuss the notions of life and cognition, including their origins and evolution

Topics: Complexity Theory, Evolution, Epistemology
Year: 2007
OAI identifier: oai:cogprints.org:5486

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