Information philosophy is an attempt to examine many classic problems in philosophy from the standpoint of information.
What is information that merits its use as the foundation of a new philosophical method of inquiry?
The simple definition of information is the act of informing - the communication of knowledge from a sender to a receiver that informs (literally shapes) the receiver.
Information theory is the mathematical quantification of communication to describe how information is transmitted and received. Information science is the study of the categorization, classification, manipulation, storage, and retrieval of information. Cognitive science is the study of mental acquisition, retention, and utilization of knowledge, which we can describe as actionable information.
Actionable information has pragmatic value.
In our information philosophy, knowledge is the sum of all the information created and preserved by humanity. It is all the information in human minds and in artifacts of every kind - from books and internetworked computers to our dwellings and managed environment.
We shall see that all information in the universe is created by a single process, the only one capable of generating and maintaining information against the dread second law of thermodynamics, which describes the irresistible increase in disorder or entropy. We call this anti-entropic process ergodic. It should be appreciated as the creative source of everything we can possibly value, and of everything distinguishable from chaos and therefore interesting.
Enabled by the general relativistic expansion of the universe, the cosmic creative process has formed the macrocosmos of galaxies, stars, and planets. It has also generated the particular forms of microscopic matter - atoms, molecules, and the complex macromolecules that support biological organisms. It includes all quantum cooperative phenomena.
Quantum phenomena control the evolution of life and human knowledge. They help bring new information into the universe in a fundamentally unpredictable way. They drive biological speciation. They facilitate human creativity and free will.
Although information philosophy looks at the universe, life, and intelligence through the single lens of information, it is far from mechanical and reducible to deterministic physics. The growth of information over time - our principle of increasing information - is the essential reason why time matters and individuals are distinguishable.
Information is the principal reason that biology is not reducible to chemistry and physics. Increasing information explains all emergent phenomena, including many "laws of nature."
In information philosophy, the future is unpredictable for two basic reasons. First, quantum mechanics shows that some events are not predictable. The world is causal but not determined. Second, the early universe does not contain the information of later times, just as early primates do not contain the information structures for intelligence and verbal communication, and infants do not contain the knowledge and remembered experience they will have as adults.
In the naive world of Laplace's demon and strict determinism, all the information in the universe is constant at all times, perhaps consistent with an omniscient God.
Creative cosmic processes suggest another image of God.
Two principles of information philosophy and a corollary
The Principle of Increasing Information. In our open and expanding universe, the maximum possible entropy is increasing faster than the actual entropy. The difference between maximum possible entropy and the current entropy is called negative entropy. To give this very positive quantity a positive name, we call it "Ergo." Ergodic processes have room to increase the information structures in the universe. As pointed out by David Layzer, the Arrow of Time points not only to increasing disorder but also to increasing information.
The universe is its own observer.
The Principle of "Soft" Causality. Events are always caused but not always determined. An event is caused by prior and proximate events (technically those within its relativistic light cone from the past), but not every event is predictable. Indeed, as logical philosophers would put it, determinism is not true. The determinism we have is merely "adequate determinism".
Soft causality does not entail strict determinism.
The Corollary. The universe is creative. Information structures and processes are emergent. Deterministic phenomena are emergent. Some laws of nature are emergent. Knowledge of the present did not all exist in the past. The creative process continues. Life and humanity are a part of the process. What gets created is in part our responsibility. We can choose to help create and preserve information. Or we can choose to destroy it.
We are free to create our own future.