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Slanted Knowledge Organization as a New Ethical Perspective

The Organization of Knowledge

ISBN: 978-1-78714-532-0, eISBN: 978-1-78714-531-3

Publication date: 20 July 2017


The purpose of this chapter is to characterize knowledge organization (KO) as a field that is affected by geographic and diachronic variations in such a way that the recognition of a slanted KO could be considered an ethical option in the KO theory and practice. KO can be considered a dynamic social product that reflects a construction that is altered in space and time. Slants are inherent to any organization of knowledge and are manifested in multiple dimensions. There is a need to find a balance between the respect for the local specificities and the necessity of global access to information. Conceptual and terminological time and space slants in KO are presented. Examples of possible day-by-day searches are analyzed in order to evidence the different cultures that are involved in the different social-linguistic characteristics. The recognition of time and space as operational axes for an ethical approach to a slanted KO is important because: (a) it tries to intervene in represented and possibly disseminated biases that are practiced so far; (b) it recognizes the coexistence of diverse groups and communities, with local characteristics, meanings, and idiosyncrasies, that will need to communicate with each other in global information systems of information; and (c) it can promote an intercultural ethics of mediation, culturally warranted, in order to avoid cultural damages and to guarantee that descriptions can reflect the past while keeping an eye in the future, based on KOS whose functionality remains over time.




I would like to thank Daniel Martínez Ávila, Suellen Milani, Natalia Tognoli, and Isadora Victorino Evangelista (São Paulo State University) for her valuable comments and suggestions.


Guimarães, J.A.C. (2017), "Slanted Knowledge Organization as a New Ethical Perspective", The Organization of Knowledge (Studies in Information, Vol. 12), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 87-102.



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