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Informational realism and world 3

Donald Gillies

pp. 7-24


This paper takes up a suggestion made by Floridi that the digital revolution is bringing about a profound change in our metaphysics. The paper aims to bring some older views from philosophy of mathematics to bear on this problem. The older views are concerned principally with mathematical realism—that is the claim that mathematical entities such as numbers exist. The new context for the discussion is informational realism, where the problem shifts to the question of the reality of information. Mathematical realism is perhaps a special case of informational realism. The older views concerned with mathematical realism are the various theories of World 3. The concept of World 3 was introduced by Frege, whose position was close to Plato's original views. Popper developed the theory of World 3 in a different direction which is characterised as "constructive Platonism". But how is World 3 constructed? This is explored by means of two analogies: the analogy with money, and the analogy with meaning, as explicated by the later Wittgenstein. This leads to the development of an account of informational realism as constructive Aristoteliansim. Finally, this version of informational realism is compared with the informational structural realism which Floridi develops in his 2008 and 2009 papers in Synthese. Similarities and differences between the two positions are noted.

Publication details

Published in:

Demir Hilmi (2010) Luciano Floridi's philosophy of technology. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 23 (1-2).

Seiten: 7-24

DOI: 10.1007/s12130-010-9096-6


Gillies Donald (2010) „Informational realism and world 3“. Knowledge, Technology & Policy 23 (1-2), 7–24.