Some weeks ago in this post at his blog, Andrew was complaining about philosophers threatening to be irrelevant with their out-of-this world thought experiments and imaginary scenarios and the like. So, being the small-minded person that I am, I'm pleased to find Runeson, of whom Andrew appears to have a decent opinion, has borrowed to some degree from philosophical work.
In a philosophical analysis of the information in signals, Dretske (1981) is explicit on this:
In truth, I think that this relevant alternatives idea might have begun with an Oxford don, J.L. Austin, a chap who was, I think, not very much interested in science.The fact that we can imagine circumstances in which a signal would be equivocal, the fact that we can imagine possibilities that a signal does not eliminate, does not, by itself, show that the signal is equivocal .... To qualify as a relevant possibility, one that actually affects the equivocation of (and therefore information in) a signal, the possibility envisaged must actually be realizable in the nuts and bolts of the particular system in question. (p. 131) (Runeson, 1988, p. 298)
|J. L. Austin, Runeson's Hero?|
Tomorrow I'll try to get back to some serious posts on Runeson.
Dretske, F. (1981). Knowledge and the Flow of Information. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.