Terms

Knowledge Organization

Knowledge Organization Some see a spectrum between: Bit is a aimple 0 or 1. Data is an assembly of such bits with no clear distinction between relevant and irrelevant. Information is an ordered assembly of data that distinguishes between relevant and irrelevant Knowledge is an ordered version of information that introduces criteria for sources of knowledge and criteria re: certainty. Wisdom is the use of knowledge in a manner that is positive. How do we organize knowledge? Four basic ideas have guided this: 1) disciplines as a means of organizing knowledge. 2) alphabetical lists as the basis of icatalogs and indexes. This is one key to organized lists. 3) categories of being as a starting point for classifying the world into human, animal, mineral and vegetable categories. From this have emerged the principles of subsumptive relations and the fields of taxonomy and systematic classifications. 4) three kinds of relations: subsumptive, determinative and ordinal. There are fundamental debates concerning the defintiion of knowledge. These fall into three basic schools. 1) Some see knowledge as something that has been proven true or at least certified using clear criteria for the sources of knowledge. This is an approach developed in India and in Europe is perhaps best reflected in the German term for knowledge: Wissen. 2) Philosophers such as Karl Popper developed the idea of Objective Knowledge. In this approach knowledge is implicitly a claim and objective knowledge entails cases where these implicit claims can be tested and verified. In the field of knowledge organization (Dahlberg, Diemer) this idea of claims of knowledge became linked with Six Questions: i.e. knowledge is not just about What? It is a claim that potentially involves Who, Where, When, How and Why in order to arrive at claims that can be tested and verified. 3. Some see knowledge more narrowly as an answer to the question What? In this approach (used especially in the United States) knowledge and information become interchangeable. One assumes that the (implicit) claim is true, but there are no criteria to prove that the item is true or false. SUMS explores the potentials of the second of these approaches while linking to the systems established by 2 and 3.
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