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The Philosophy of Information$
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Luciano Floridi

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199232383

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199232383.001.0001

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Understanding epistemic relevance

Understanding epistemic relevance

(p.244) 11 Understanding epistemic relevance
The Philosophy of Information

Luciano Floridi (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Semantic information needs to be not only truthful but also relevant in order to qualify as knowledge. So, this chapter develops and defends a subjectivist interpretation of epistemic relevance. This is based on a counterfactual and metatheoretical analysis of the degree of relevance of some semantic information i to an informee/agent a, as a function of the accuracy of i understood as an answer to a query q, given the probability that q might be asked by a. This interpretation further vindicates the strongly semantic theory of information developed and supported in the previous chapters. It accounts satisfactorily for several important applications and interpretations of the concept of relevant semantic information in a variety of philosophical areas. It interfaces successfully with current philosophical interpretations of causal and logical relevance. Finally, it provides the missing analysis of the relevance condition necessary to upgrade semantic information to knowledge.

Keywords:   Bayesian network, counterfactuals, erotetic logic, Meno's paradox, metatheory, rational choice, relevant information, relevance

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