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Proceedings, Society for General System Research, International Conference

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Information theory, Systems theory, Constraints (Linguistics), Meaning (Philosophy), Communication


Despite the familiar and correct disclaimer that information theory (Shannon and Weaver, 1949) does not concern the semantic level of communication, the technical definition of information nonetheless bears directly and importantly on the subject of meaning. Meaning, at least in one sense of the word, is the recognition of constraint and is based on isomorphism of structure. Constraint reduces information yet information is also the very substrate of meaning. Meaning is thus the union of the informative and the intelligible (Moles, 1958), the reconciliation of this dialectical opposition being achievable in several different ways.


Author's version of a paper presented at the Society for General Systems Research, International Conference, New York NY, May 28-June 1 1984, and included in its proceedings. Proceedings edited by A.W. Smith, and published by Intersystems Publications.

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