The following is a translation of Michel Serres’s essay “Mathematization of Empiricism.” from Hermes II: L’Interférence. Paris: Editions de Minuit, 1972. 195-200. Original translation by Taylor Adkins 11/03/07.
The law known as Fechner-Weber’s law can be written S = K log I, and read: sensation grows like the logarithm of the stimulus. The definition of Information, in the contemporary sense, can be written I = K log P, and read: information grows like the logarithm of the number of equally probable states. Can the analogy of formation result in thinking the analogy of the alleged phenomena?
1. The notion of information is used in physics and communication theory in a way independent from the sense of the message that transports it. A succession of letters forming a word deprived of sense for whomever contains an easily calculable quantity of information. This magnitude does not have any relation to knowledge, in its traditional meaning. It is independent of the sense of the message, it is it thus of the observer.