Single Idea 5796

[catalogued under 17. Mind and Body / E. Mind as Physical / 7. Anti-Physicalism / a. Physicalism critique]

Full Idea

You could say that tree-rings contain information about the age of a tree, but you could as well say that the age of a tree in years contains information about the number of rings in a tree stump. ..'Information' is not a real causal feature of the world.

Gist of Idea

If tree rings contain information about age, then age contains information about rings


John Searle (The Mystery of Consciousness [1997], Concl 2.5)

Book Reference

Searle,John R.: 'The Mystery of Consciousness' [Granta 1997], p.206

A Reaction

A nice point for fans of 'information' to ponder. However, you cannot deny the causal connection between the age and the rings. Information has a subjective aspect, but you cannot, for example, eliminate the role of DNA in making organisms.