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Lyotard and the Inhuman ConditionReflections on Nihilism, Information and Art$
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Ashley Woodward

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780748697243

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748697243.001.0001

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Information and Event: Lyotard’s Philosophy of Information

Information and Event: Lyotard’s Philosophy of Information

(p.41) Chapter 2 Information and Event: Lyotard’s Philosophy of Information
Lyotard and the Inhuman Condition

Ashley Woodward

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter interprets Lyotard’s remarks on information in the wider context of information theory and philosophy of information. It situates him as a philosopher of information who, despite a lack of specialist, technical knowledge of information theory, contributes to a reflective, philosophical understanding of information on two levels: the social impact of information, and the ontology of information. The chapter criticises Lyotard for failing to distinguish between theories of data transmission such as Shannon’s pivotal Mathematical Theory of Communication and semantic conceptions of information, yet argues that his critique nonetheless applies to many of the more recent semantic theories. The chapter concludes with a programmatic outline for how Lyotard’s critical intervention in the “linguistic turn” in The Differend might be developed for a critical intervention in the “informational turn,” an intervention which revolves around the question of how the event in the Lyotardian sense might be thought within an information-theoretic framework.

Keywords:   Jean-François Lyotard, Philosophy of information, Luciano Floridi

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