A consensual set of meanings among a number of emitters or senders and receivers which allow them to exchange information understandable by all of them.
No information can exist without a language which provides a semantics (apart from the physical codings already referred to). Semantic coding is also a process of consensus: a number of senders and receivers must reach a general agreement about the meaning of words (groups of sounds) and sentences (group of words).
For example, the users of this dictionary must necessarily share with us the basic linguistic code, English, before being able to study, admit, reject or accomodate for their own use the systemic metalanguage here proposed. To make this point perfectly informative, here is a sentence in a language that most readers probably do not know: "Mutoto alivunja sahani moya". The only information therein contained for someone who ignores kiswahili, is that the sentence, if not fanciful, must contain some hidden information.
Linguistic codes are generally shared by a definite human group, in space and time. Every language conveyes information in a specific and peculiar way. This is why the Italians say: "Tradutore, tradittore". It is really very difficult to find a non-scientific word whose meaning is identical in various languages. Witness, for example, the quite different sense given to the word "democracy" in different nations. Moreover, meanings vary with time: they are not only culturally-subjective but also temporally-subjective.
All this is true even for most of the scientific language. While we have a unique rigorous and universally imposed meaning for units like the hartley, the ohm or the joule, we are quite less sure about meanings when we speak of determinism", "autonomy", "randomness" or "information", for example.
- 1) General information
- 2) Methodology or model
- 3) Epistemology, ontology and semantics
- 4) Human sciences
- 5) Discipline oriented
To cite this page, please use the following information:
Bertalanffy Center for the Study of Systems Science (2020). Title of the entry. In Charles François (Ed.), International Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics (2). Retrieved from www.systemspedia.org/[full/url]
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