Fred Dretske  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Frederick Irwin Dretske (December 9, 1932 – July 24, 2013) was an American philosopher noted for his contributions to epistemology and the philosophy of mind.

Dretske’s book, Knowledge and the Flow of Information (1981), returns to the topic of knowledge gained via perception but substantially changes the theory. Dretske had become convinced that information theory was required to make sense of knowledge (and also belief). He signaled this change at the beginning of the new book, opening the Preface with the lines “In the beginning there was information. The word came later.” Information, understood in Dretske’s sense, is something that exists as an objective and mind-independent feature of the natural world and can be quantified.

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