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The Philosophy of Information Hardcover – March 8, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 360 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199232385
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199232383
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 1.3 x 6.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,451,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"The impressive and exciting project that Floridi undertakes in his book is aimed at establishing the philosophy of information as a mature subdiscipline of philosophy, with its own method and research programme. [...] Floridi's book not only presents a comprehensive framework for the philosophy of information but also makes a strong case for its legitimacy as a mature subdiscipline of philosophy. The intellectual debates and new research that it has already stimulated testify to its importance as a significant contribution to the literature."--Hilmi Demir, Mind

This is a monumental work [...] Floridi goes through much of contemporary philosophy, as seen through a lens fashioned from the concept of information. [...] The Philosophy of Information is a lovely source of ideas, and also a wonderful indication of how much there might be to gain for philosophy by looking at contemporary computer science."--Staffan Angere, Theoria

"This is an ambitious book. [...] there is a great deal to admire in this book, including much to admire philosophically. For example, some of the material on epistemology, especially Ch. 13 but also some of his work on the definition of knowledge, is masterful [...] this an intriguing, eye-opening work."--Frederick Kroon, Journal of Applied Philosophy

"Given the breadth and depth of coverage of all its topics, the careful organisation and structuring of concepts, and the relevance of its contents, The Philosophy of Information shall be deemed essential reading for philosophers and computer scientists alike, especially those interested in Artificial Intelligence."--Flavio Soares Correa da Silva, AISB Quarterly

"Just around the beginning of the new millennium, Floridi began his important and influential program, and this book brings between two covers much of his previous work, and also augments, updates, and connects these publications. [...] Floridi's book sets an ambitious agenda for the philosophy of information. [..] there is much of interest and value in this major book."--J. Michael Dunn, Metascience

"The Philosophy of Information is clearly a work of great ambition, originality, and value."--Stephen Leach, Metapsychology

"Very well written, and clearly presented. [...] many authors have written about philosophy and information before, but no-one has set out to deal with it in such a thorough way. This is clearly a very important book, and I think it justifies the author's claim that it describes the first philosophical analysis of information in all its aspects."--David Bawden, Library and Information Research

"The non-technical portions are understandable to everyone and provide plenty of food for thought."--Steven Harnad, Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Luciano Floridi is Professor of Philosophy and Ethics of Information at the University of Oxford, Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute, and Fellow of St Cross College, Oxford. Among his recognitions, he has been appointed the Gauss Professor by the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, and is recipient of the APA's Barwise Prize, the IACAP's Covey Award, and the INSEIT's Weizenbaum Award. He is an AISB and BCS Fellow, Editor in Chief of Philosophy & Technology and of the Synthese Library, and was Chairman of EU Commission's 'Onlife' research group. His most recent books are: The Philosophy of Information (OUP, 2011), Information: A Very Short Introduction (OUP, 2010), and The Cambridge Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics (CUP, 2010).

More About the Author


Luciano Floridi (Laurea, Rome University "La Sapienza", M.Phil. and Ph.D. Warwick, M.A. Oxford) is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Hertfordshire - where he holds the Research Chair in Philosophy of Information and the UNESCO Chair in Information and Computer Ethics - and Fellow of St Cross College, University of Oxford, where he directs the philosophy of information research group, IEG.

Between 2005 and 2010 he was President of the International Association for Computing and Philosophy). In 2009, he was elected Gauss Professor by the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, awarded the Barwise Prize by the APA, and elected fellow of the AISB. In 2010, he was elected fellow of the Center for Information Policy Research, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and appointed editor in chief of Philosophy & Technology (Springer).

His most recent books are the Handbook of Information and Computer Ethics (CUP, 2010), Information: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2010) and The Philosophy of Information (Oxford University Press, 2011). His forthcoming book is The Fourth Revolution - The Impact of Information and Communication Technologies on Our Lives (Oxford University Press, under contract).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Phillip Rhinehart on March 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Floridi makes a case for philosophy of information (PI) as a new first philosophy, at least insofar as it can give a different perspective on the perennial debates in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind and language, and logic and semantics, (the forthcoming sequel to this work will apparently focus on its relation to ethics).

Though this was only my first encounter with Floridi, I can confidently say that he is an excellent stylist. The kind of grand philosophical project undertaken here is rarely seen outside of the continental tradition (which isn't exactly known for its facile prose), but Floridi is able to both paint with broad strokes, situating PI in historical relation to philosophy and science, and cover the technical minutia that will make it relevant to the specialist.

With respect to that last point, this work does not lack for technical passages--an issue that is only compounded by its breadth. If one is aiming to read through the entire book, it would help to have a basic understanding of set theory, modal logic, probability theory (information theory preferably), evolutionary dynamics, formal semantics, and at least a passing knowledge of computer and information systems. Later Sections do somewhat build upon earlier sections, and it's clear that Floridi intended for the reader to proceed in a linear fashion, yet I found the work modular enough that one could skip around if they so desired (I read it straight through myself).

Aside from the inevitable first edition errors and some rather bloated figures in the later sections, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in learning more about how PI can offer novel orientations to the perennial philosophical problems.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Legenhausen on August 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Required reading for anyone interested in the philosophical aspects of information. Floridi provides state-of-the-art discussions of the semantics and ontology of information.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Ordowich on January 22, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have discovered in my work with data that as a society we are Data Illiterate. In order to understand data better I bought this book. It is not an easy read (at least for me) but I discovered numerous gems about data such as the Symbol Grounding Paradox (SGP). This one aspect of data is the root cause of many misunderstandings and errors in data.

This book explains information but more so, it based on research rather than opinions.

I suggest that anyone who works with data as a designer, user or "data scientist" must read this book.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. O. Pineda on September 14, 2013
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Complete, well written and very insightful. A very pleasant reading although not always easy to follow. Read it if the matter interests you.
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