Functional Information: a Graded Taxonomy of Difference Makers

Nir Fresco, Simona Ginsburg, Eva Jablonka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There are many different notions of information in logic, epistemology, psychology, biology and cognitive science, which are employed differently in each discipline, often with little overlap. Since our interest here is in biological processes and organisms, we develop a taxonomy of functional information that extends the standard cue/signal distinction (in animal communication theory). Three general, main claims are advanced here. (1) This new taxonomy can be useful in describing learning and communication. (2) It avoids some problems that the natural/non-natural information distinction faces. (3) Functional information is​ ​produced through exploration and stabilisation processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-567
Number of pages21
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2018, Springer Nature B.V.


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