To read this content please select one of the options below:

Reductionism and library and information science philosophy

Bonna Jones (School of Business Information Technology, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 25 July 2008




The purpose of this article is to consider the meaning of “reductionism” within the context of renewed efforts to make library and information science philosophy.


This article argues that the question of reductionism, as discussed in other traditions of thought, is relevant to the conversation about development of new library and information science (LIS) philosophy. Based on the viewpoint that one can be opposed to philosophical reductionism yet still be in favour of science, some forms of reductionism are described and links are drawn to library and information science by way of examples.


How reductionism is defined and understood should be addressed in the efforts to make new LIS philosophy.


Being “non‐reductionist” can be a stance in its own right, as evidenced by broader transdisciplinary conversations, but this is yet to be considered at any depth in LIS.



Jones, B. (2008), "Reductionism and library and information science philosophy", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 64 No. 4, pp. 482-495.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles