Roman Krzanowski (UPJPII)
Ontological Perspective on Information

The paper posits the question whether the diverse views of ontological information formulated in mathematics, physics, cosmology or informatics can be reduced /unified using the concepts of fundamental ontology.

Definitions of information can be classified under two perspectives: epistemic and ontological. Epistemic definitions require the presence of the mind, while ontological definitions assert that information is the basic constituent of reality, the very fabric of the universe. However, what is meant by “the basic constituent of reality” is not exactly clear. No coherent description for the ontological view of information has been formulated that expresses the claimed fundamental role of information in nature. This may be due to how the conceptual apparatus used to describe information always relates to some specific domain (e.g., logic, physics, mathematics).

If (ontological) information is a basic, foundational element of the Universe, it cannot be described using concepts formulated for specific domains, unless we assume that such a domain is fundamental. It must instead be accomplished using concepts that refer to the foundations of what is, of being. Such an endeavor may be accomplished with a conceptual network of fundamental ontology, where fundamental ontology refers not to the ontology of phenomenal objects but rather the ontology of being, of what is. This is ontology as understood by Plato, Aristotle, some Medieval thinkers, and Leibniz.

One ontology qualified for this job, it seems, has been formulated by Perzanowski, a philosopher and logician with roots in the Lvov-Warsaw school of logic. This paper presents elements of Perzanowski’s ontology and interprets them as ontological information, where information is conceived as a basic constituent of reality. The author hopes that this synthesis indicate that the concepts of fundamental (pure) ontology may explain the profusion of  definitions for information, as well as explain how these domain-bound definitions relate to each other.

The paper also points out the speculative nature of any type of fundamental ontological constructs and related interpretative problems.

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