© 2017

Information and Interaction

Eddington, Wheeler, and the Limits of Knowledge

  • Ian T. Durham
  • Dean Rickles


  • Stimulating contributions to the foundations of information in the physical world

  • A substantial introduction by the editors guides the reader into the topic and through the book

  • Prepared in cooperation with the Foundational Questions Institute FQXi


Part of the The Frontiers Collection book series (FRONTCOLL)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Ian T. Durham
    Pages 1-34
  3. Friedel Weinert
    Pages 73-101
  4. Chiara Marletto
    Pages 103-111
  5. Christopher A. Fuchs
    Pages 113-134
  6. Kevin H. Knuth
    Pages 181-207
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 209-212

About this book


In this essay collection, leading physicists, philosophers, and historians attempt to fill the empty theoretical ground in the foundations of information and address the related question of the limits to our knowledge of the world.

Over recent decades, our practical approach to information and its exploitation has radically outpaced our theoretical understanding - to such a degree that reflection on the foundations may seem futile. But it is exactly fields such as quantum information, which are shifting the boundaries of the physically possible, that make a foundational understanding of information increasingly important. One of the recurring themes of the book is the claim by Eddington and Wheeler that information involves interaction and putting agents or observers centre stage. Thus, physical reality, in their view, is shaped by the questions we choose to put to it and is built up from the information residing at its core. This is the root of Wheeler’s famous phrase “it from bit.” After reading the stimulating essays collected in this volume, readers will be in a good position to decide whether they agree with this view.


Arthur Stanley Eddington Epistemic vs. Ontic Interpretations Foundations of Information John Archibald Wheeler Ontology of Information Physics of Information Quantum Computation

Editors and affiliations

  • Ian T. Durham
    • 1
  • Dean Rickles
    • 2
  1. 1.Physics DepartmentSaint Anselm CollegeManchesterUSA
  2. 2.Unit for History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of SydneyCarslawAustralia

Bibliographic information