Typ-Ken (an Amalgam of Type and Token) Drives Infosphere

Yukio Pegio Gunji*, Takayuki Niizato, Hisashi Murakami, Iori Tani

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Floridi's infosphere consisting of informational reality is estimated and delineated by introducing the new notion of Typ-Ken, an undifferentiated amalgam of type and token that can be expressed as either type or token dependent on contingent ontological commitment. First, we elaborate Floridi's system, level of abstraction (LoA), model, and structure scheme, which is proposed to reconcile ontic with epistemic structural reality, and obtain the duality of type and token inherited in the relationship between LoA and model. While we focus on the ontological commitment that can negotiate and emphasize the discrepancy between type and token, we show that most research focusing on different hierarchical layers (type and token) has converged onto the flattened perspective of type and token to clarify the role of ontological commitment. We propose the idea of Typ-Ken to avoid this flattening. In addition, we elaborate Taddeo and Floridi's criticism of approaches to the symbol grounding problem and show that their criticism based on the zero semantical commitment condition is specific to the agents affected by the flattening. We then take bird flocks as a metaphor for the living infosphere as if it had one mind. The knowledge recently yielded by image analysis indicates that it is difficult for previous flock models based on agents equipped with the flattening of local (token) and global (type) to show the special feature of a flock of the scale-free proportion (SFP). We show here that agents based on the Typ-Ken can reveal the SFP, which is the essential characteristic of the living infosphere. In other words, Typ-Ken is an expression for informational reality (LoA and model with ontological commitment) that can reveal seamless local and global interactions in the functioning of a flock or infosphere.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-25
Number of pages25
JournalKnowledge, Technology & Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Body image
  • Flock
  • Informational realism
  • Infosphere
  • Level of abstraction
  • Scale-free proportion
  • Symbol grounding problem
  • Type and token


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