You’ve probably ever heard of thermal information theory (epistemology). The complexity of this word itself makes this word important audible, and it actually is. Many people have researched and discussed this term. But what exactly is it? Information theory is a branch of philosophy that studies knowledge.
Information is a collection of information and facts that we accept as true. And if we accept certain things as truth, then we believe other things are wrong. Thus, information theory focuses on the criteria that confirm knowledge.
The opposite of this is the destruction of information. One historical example of this destruction of information is when people burned women at the stake believing they were witches. In reality, these women were burned alive because they believed in things, and they also had knowledge of things that those in power disagreed with. To destroy that knowledge, they killed these “witches.”
Types of information theory
Information theory examines information. To be a little more specific, it examines how an individual acquires information. In other words, what are the criteria an individual has for obtaining information. Information theory also defines various concepts such as “truth,” “objectivity,” “reality,” and “justification.” Thus, information theory is also useful e.g. to define science.
To know what can be counted as knowledge and what cannot, we must first ask ourselves whether it is possible to attain an understanding of any universal truth. If we think this is impossible, we are skeptical. If we think that certain universal truths exist, two new questions arise.
The first question is how to find this truth. If we believe we can find it using our senses, we are empiricists. On the other hand, if we believe we can get the truth using reason, we are rationalists.
The following question refers to the object of truth. If we believe the object of truth is within us (e.g., our own opinion of something), we are idealists. But if the object of truth is an external reality, we are realists.
The effects of choosing one information theory
In psychology, and also in other sciences, it is important that we have an epistemological status. People generally believe that scientists access knowledge through their senses. This would mean that they are all empiricists. In addition to this, they are realists. They believe that the truth is in external reality.
However, not all sciences share this same position. There are schools of study, such as interpretationism, constructivism, or humanism, that do not provide answers to the epistemological questions we mentioned earlier. Positivism and post-positivism, on the other hand, are closer to the epistemology we talked about earlier. As a result, there is a debate about which information theory is the one that provides real information.
This is because the information coming from each of these schools is different. Even if they have much in common, the acquisition of information or the methodologies used are all different. As a result, information from one school may be rejected by another school.
Effects on psychology
It may seem that information theory is nothing more than an academic discussion without answers. Today, however, there is a debate that is relevant to health and well-being. This discussion focuses on alternative therapies such as homeopathic medicine.
People have questioned the effectiveness of homeopathic products. Do they really work? Post-positivism answers this question in the negative. Various experiments prove that they have no real effect on the body, other than the effect of placebo. Nonetheless, those whose epistemological status focuses on rationalism and internal objects argue that if people who use these drugs say homeopathic medicines work, then they actually work.
Thus, we can see that the discussion about alternative therapies is epistemological. Depending on the answers to the questions we discussed at the beginning of the article, we may come to the conclusion that alternative therapies are effective – or not. As a result, we need to know the epistemological positions of the people who defend their own beliefs. And that’s not all, we need to be critical and understand the limitations of those different methods when it comes to providing the right information.