© 2009

Formal Theories of Information

From Shannon to Semantic Information Theory and General Concepts of Information

  • Giovanni Sommaruga

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5363)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
  2. Introduction

    1. Giovanni Sommaruga
      Pages 1-12
  3. Philosophical Reflections

    1. Luciano Floridi
      Pages 13-53
  4. The Syntactical Approach

    1. Cristian S. Calude
      Pages 79-94
  5. The Semantical Approach

    1. Jürg Kohlas, Cesar Schneuwly
      Pages 95-127
    2. Jürg Kohlas, Christian Eichenberger
      Pages 128-160
    3. Jeremy Seligman
      Pages 193-233
  6. Beyond the Semantical Approach

    1. Keith Devlin
      Pages 234-252
  7. Philosophical Conclusions

    1. Giovanni Sommaruga
      Pages 253-267
  8. Back Matter

About this book


This book presents the scientific outcome of a joint effort of the computer science departments of the universities of Berne, Fribourg and Neuchâtel.
Within an initiative devoted to "Information and Knowledge", these research groups collaborated over several years on issues of logic, probability, inference, and deduction. The goal of this volume is to examine whether there is any common ground between the different approaches to the concept of information.

The structure of this book could be represented by a circular model, with an innermost syntactical circle, comprising statistical and algorithmic approaches; a second, larger circle, the semantical one, in which "meaning" enters the stage; and finally an outermost circle, the pragmatic one, casting light on real-life logical reasoning.

These articles are complemented by two philosophical contributions exploring the wide conceptual field as well as taking stock of the articles on the various formal theories of information.


Algebra Information algorithmic dephts boolean algebra chaitin entropy gödel information theory kolmogorov complexity logic probability reasoning shannon statistics turing

Editors and affiliations

  • Giovanni Sommaruga
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of InformaticsUniversity of FribourgFribourgSwitzerland

Bibliographic information


From the reviews:

“This new anthology on formal theories of information is based upon research presented at the May 2006 Muenchenwiler seminar of the Information and Knowledge research groups of the computer science departments of the universities of Bern, Fribourg, and Neuchatel. … This is probably the clearest account of algorithmic information theory that one will come across. … Formal theories of information and their philosophical analysis are being developed right now, and this is what makes a volume of this quality so welcome.” (Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson, Minds and Machines, Vol. 22, 2012)