In a simple sense, information is simply processed, structured and organized information. It gives context to data and allows effective decision making. For instance, a particular customer’s sale in a particular restaurant is statistics this becomes information if the company is able to classify the most popular or least common dish. Information is the key to understanding human interaction and understanding what drives our culture.
But how does information theory apply to business? In general, companies process information through a number of different channels to get the same result or outcome. Each of these channels has a purpose, but all of them are interconnected. Let’s take an example of supply chain management. If one store cannot receive a particular item from a particular supplier, it will contact another store that can provide the item and then contact the suppliers again, until it gets its order.
With information, on the other hand, there is no such thing as a channel, because information can be accessed, analyzed and altered by any person, at any time, at any location. Therefore, we have a new concept: information processing. Information processing is a subset of semiotics, just as observation is a subset of interpretation, and the analogy is a subset of causation. The four main components of information processing are information, analysis, synthesis and distribution.
Semiotic concepts are the set of rules by which we process information. A single concept may be a set of physical facts, but it is always a combination of these facts and an extension of the laws of physics. A semantic concept, on the other hand, is a set of rules that govern how we process information. Just as language serves as a tool to organize our experience, so does a semantic concept serves as a tool to organize the world around us.
One of the major goals of pragmatics, after all, is to ensure that we make use of the tools – i.e., information, analysis and synthesis – that maximize the available knowledge at every time. Thus, the philosophy of pragmatics is intimately connected to the philosophy of education. The two fields often draw on each other, as students seek better methods to understand and interpret the world. Just as the best language is a tool to make our interpretation clearer, so too is the best definition of what ‘pragmatics’ really means.
Although the above discussion has been a helpful introduction to the topic of philosophy of pragmatics, it presents a somewhat superficial example of the relationship between this concept and criminal law. Like all other branches of law, criminal law makes use of semantic concepts just like all other branches of law do. It is only with this in mind that the discussion of pragmatics can be meaningful.