The relevance of communication theory for theories of representation


Communication theory
Information theory
Shannon information

How to Cite

Mann, S. F. (2023). The relevance of communication theory for theories of representation. Philosophy and the Mind Sciences, 4.


Prominent views about representation share a premise: that mathematical communication theory is blind to representational content. Here I challenge that premise by rejecting two common misconceptions: that Claude Shannon said that the meanings of signals are irrelevant for communication theory (he didn't and they aren't), and that since correlational measures can't distinguish representations from natural signs, communication theory can't distinguish them either (the premise is true but the conclusion is false; no valid argument can link them).


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