Mind, Matter, Meaning and Information

  • Robin Faichney Independent Researcher
Keywords: Physical Information, Semantic Information, Intentional Information, Mind, Matter, Meaning, Intentionality, Intentional Stance, Mental Model, Cognitive Empathy, Affective Empathy


This article aims to show how mind, matter and meaning might be united in one theory using certain concepts of information, building on ideas of empathy and intentionality. The concept of intentionality in philosophy of mind (“aboutness”), which is “the ineliminable mark of the mental” according to Brentano, can be viewed as the relationship between model and object, and empathy can be viewed as a form of mental modelling, so that the inclination to attribute mentality can be identified with the inclination to empathise with the relevant entity. Physical information, a concept quite well established within the discipline of physics, is basically a reconceptualization of material form. Daniel Dennett's concept of the intentional stance allows the development of a concept of “intentional information,” a broad term that encompasses mental content and semantic information generally, as encoded within physical information/material form.

Author Biography

Robin Faichney, Independent Researcher
BA (Hons) philosophy and psychology 1981, MSc information technology 1986, MSc by Research philosophy 2011.
Special Issue: The Difference that Makes a Difference 2011