The organization of the knowledge of humanity is fundamental for the survival of Society

Rodrigo de Sales, Professor in the Federal University of Santa Catarina, Center for Educational Sciences, Department of Information Science. Florianópolis, SC, Brazil

José Augusto Guimarães, Professor in the São Paulo State University (UNESP), School of Philosophy and Sciences, Department of Information Science, Marília, SP, Brazil

Daniel Martínez-Ávila, Professor in the São Paulo State University (UNESP), School of Philosophy and Sciences, Department of Information Science, Marília, SP, Brazil

Knowledge Organization is a field of study that was born in the Classical antiquity, in Mesopotamia and Alexandria, with the organization of documents in libraries and archives. Throughout history, the interest in this field grew among scientists and philosophers due to the growing amount of technical and scientific knowledge that was produced and required a form of organization (MARTÍNEZ-ÁVILA; GUIMARÃES, 2015). The organization of this knowledge allowed the society to have access to advances that would be lost otherwise. With the great industrial advances of the nineteenth century, the organization of knowledge that was produced and socialized by society, in the form of recorded documents, began to receive a more specific attention. It was around this time that researchers and scholars around the world began to develop new theories and methodologies to extract the contents of documents and represent them in a systematic way.

Classification systems is an example of these advancements. They systematize subjects in a logical order to allow the consultation and research of documents. Since the second half of the twentieth century (SALES; PIRES, 2018), the studies were more directed to the verbal forms of representation of these subjects. This allowed the search and retrieval of knowledge in a more efficient and unambiguous way using representative terms. This marked the birth of indexing. In this historical period, different systems for the representation of recorded knowledge were developed, namely classification systems, subject headings, thesauri, and ontologies. These knowledge organization systems facilitated research to be done more efficiently and saving time for the user.

In relation to these advances, Daniel Martínez-Ávila and José Augusto Chaves Guimarães, from the Department of Information Science at UNESP-Marília, and Rodrigo de Sales, Department of Information Science, Federal University of Santa Catarina, in the article “Dialogical elements in Harris, Dewey, Cutter, Otlet, Kaiser, and Ranganathan: theoretical convergences in the history of Knowledge Organization” highlight and analyze the theoretical convergences of some of the key authors from the United States, England, India, and Belgium provide a clearer picture of the historical and theoretical contributions to the epistemological foundations of classification and knowledge organization. The study reveals a common concern in the sense that the representation of knowledge is done in every case as a consecutive process of analysis of the constituent elements followed by a synthesis that can systematize their representation.

Another aspect that is stressed in the paper is the common concern to represent the subjects at their most specificity and considering their different contexts. They approach this idea with facets, such as space, time, actions, subjects, and others, to represent subjects in context and in greater depth.

Finally, the study also reveals that the dialogues between these researchers are developed historically as Harris, Dewey, and Cutter were devoted to the design of descriptive systems of classification; Cutter and Kaiser were concerned with the definition of standards for subject representation; Kaiser and Otlet created standards for the analysis of the constitutive elements; and Kaiser and Ranganathan developed the analytical-synthetic method for analyzing and representing subjects.

References

MARTÍNEZ-ÁVILA, D. and GUIMARÃES, J. A. La construcción de la Biblioteconomía como ciencia y su relación con la clasificación. In: CONGRESO INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION, 12., 2015, ESPAÑA Y CONGRESO INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY FOR KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION, 2., 2015, Portugal. Organización del conocimiento: sistemas de información abiertos. Actas… Murcia: Universidad de Murcia, 2015. p. 533-543. Available from: http://www.iskoiberico.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/39_Martinez-Avila.pdf.

SALES, R. and PIRES, T. B. The classification of Harris: Influences of Bacon and Hegel in the universe of library classification. In: NORTH AMERICAN SYMPOSIUM ON KNOWLEDGE ORGANIZATION 6., 2017, Champaign. Proceedings… Champaign: University of Illinois, 2017. v. 6. p. 1-11.

To read the article, access

SALES, R, MARTINEZ-AVILA, D. and GUIMARAES, J. A. Dialogical elements in Harris, Dewey, Cutter, Otlet, Kaiser, and Ranganathan: Theoretical convergences in the history of Knowledge Organization. Transinformação [online]. 2018, vol.30, n.3, pp.348-362. ISSN 0103-3786. [viewed 28 January 2019]. DOI: 10.1590/2318-08892018000300007. Available from: http://ref.scielo.org/y7q7t7

External link

Transinformação – TINF: www.scielo.br/tinf

 

How to cite this post [ISO 690/2010]:

The organization of the knowledge of humanity is fundamental for the survival of Society [online]. SciELO in Perspective: Humanities, 2019 [viewed ]. Available from: http://humanas.blog.scielo.org/en/2019/01/28/the-organization-of-the-knowledge-of-humanity-is-fundamental-for-the-survival-of-society/

 

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