Scholars in information science have recently become interested in “information experience,” but it remains largely unclear why this research is important and how it fits within the broader disciplinary structure of information science. The purpose of this paper is to clarify this issue.
The discussion unfolds in the form of a philosophical dialogue between the Epistemologist, who represents the traditional and majority epistemological viewpoint of information science, and the Aestheticist, representing the emerging paradigm of experiential information inquiry.
A framework emerges that recognizes dual conceptualizations of truth (veritas and aletheia) and consequently information and knowledge (gnostic and pathic). The epistemic aim of understanding is revealed as the common ground between epistemology and aesthetics.
The value of studying human experiences of information is grounded in work spanning philosophy, psychology and a number of social science methodologies, and it is contextualized within information science generally. Moreover, the dialogic format of this paper presents an opportunity for disciplinary self-reflection and offers a touch of heart to the field.
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