The American Journal of Semiotics

Volume 24, Issue 1/3, 2008


João Queiroz, Claus Emmeche, Charbel Niño El-Hani
Pages 75-94

A Peircean Approach to ‘Information’ and its Relationship with Bateson’s and Jablonka’s Ideas

The Peircean semiotic approach to information that we developed in previous papers raises several new questions, and shows both similarities and differences with regard to other accounts of information. We do not intend to present here any exhaustive discussion about the relationships between our account and other approaches to information. Rather, our interest is mainly to address its relationship to ideas about information put forward by Gregory Bateson and Eva Jablonka. We conclude that all these authors offer quite broad concepts of information, but we argue that they are just as broad as they should be, since information is in itself a sweeping concept. Furthermore, all of them suggest a processual approach to information, which departs from the treatment of information as something that is contained in some structure (e.g., in sequences of nucleotides) and moves towards an understanding of information as a process — in terms of our account, a semiotic process, i.e., semiosis.