{ Information = Comprehension × Extension } • Discussion 17

Re: Ontolog ForumJoseph Simpson

We are in the middle of trying to work out what Peirce had in mind with his concept of information.  He appears to have developed it from purely logical considerations, if logic can remain pure in applying itself to experience, and he thinks it solves “the puzzle of the validity of scientific inference”.

I am going, next, to show that inference is symbolization and that the puzzle of the validity of scientific inference lies merely in this superfluous comprehension and is therefore entirely removed by a consideration of the laws of information.

(Peirce 1866, p. 467)

We will eventually come to the task of seeing how a theory of information born in that environment relates to concepts of information in common use today, sprouted as they were from the needs of telegraph operators to detect and correct errors of transmission through noisy channels of communication.  As I see it, Peirce’s concept of information is potentially deeper and more general than concepts of information based on quantitative measures of probability and quantifiable statistics of messages.  This is possible because the qualitative properties of spaces studied in topology are deeper and more general than the quantitative properties of spaces bearing real-valued measures.

All in good time, though.  We have a ways to go understanding Peirce’s idea before we can say how the two paradigms compare.


  • Peirce, C.S. (1866), “The Logic of Science, or, Induction and Hypothesis”, Lowell Lectures of 1866, pp. 357–504 in Writings of Charles S. Peirce : A Chronological Edition, Volume 1, 1857–1866, Peirce Edition Project, Indiana University Press, Bloomington, IN, 1982.


cc: CyberneticsOntolog ForumStructural ModelingSystems Science

This entry was posted in Abduction, C.S. Peirce, Comprehension, Deduction, Extension, Hypothesis, Icon Index Symbol, Induction, Inference, Information = Comprehension × Extension, Information Theory, Inquiry, Intension, Logic, Logic of Science, Peirce, Peirce's Categories, Pragmatic Semiotic Information, Pragmatism, Scientific Method, Semiotics, Sign Relations and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to { Information = Comprehension × Extension } • Discussion 17

  1. Pingback: Survey of Pragmatic Semiotic Information • 4 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

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