The purpose of this paper, which increases and deepens what was expressed in a previous work (Mazzocchi et al., 2007), is to scrutinize the underlying assumptions of the types of…
The purpose of this paper, which increases and deepens what was expressed in a previous work (Mazzocchi et al., 2007), is to scrutinize the underlying assumptions of the types of relations included in thesauri, particularly the genus-species relation. Logicist approaches to information organization, which are still dominant, will be compared with hermeneutically oriented approaches. In the light of these approaches, the nature and features of the relations, and what the notion of a priori could possibly mean with regard to them, are examined, together with the implications for designing and implementing knowledge organizations systems (KOS).
The inquiry is based on how the relations are described in literature, engaging in particular a discussion with Hjørland (2015) and Svenonius (2004). The philosophical roots of today’s leading views are briefly illustrated, in order to put them under perspective and deconstruct the uncritical reception of their authority. To corroborate the discussion a semantic analysis of specific terms and relations is provided too.
All relations should be seen as “perspectival” (not as a priori). On the other hand, different types of relations, depending on the conceptual features of the terms involved, can hold a different degree of “stability.” On this basis, they could be used to address different information concerns (e.g. interoperability vs expressiveness).
Some arguments that the paper puts forth at the conceptual level need to be tested in application contexts.
This paper considers that the standpoint of logic and of hermeneutic (usually seen as conflicting) are both significant for information organization, and could be pragmatically integrated. In accordance with this view, an extension of thesaurus relations’ set is advised, meaning that perspective hierarchical relations (i.e. relations that are not logically based but function contingently) should be also included in such a set.
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to refine the conceptual framework of complexity. For such a purpose, a number of epistemologically oriented remarks are provided…
The purpose of this paper is to contribute to refine the conceptual framework of complexity. For such a purpose, a number of epistemologically oriented remarks are provided, arguing about the relevance of second-order considerations for complexity and the importance of pluralism in scientific research.
At first, the paper focuses on one of the topical areas of complexity research, i.e. network theory, but uses this for drawing the attention to more general issues. The underlying assumption is that scientific and philosophical research might complement each other, and that this is especially crucial for the advancement of complexity.
The paper suggests three ways for refining the scheme of complexity: analyzing it at the right level, i.e. not focusing on single principles or theories (e.g. network theory), but rather on the overall frame; including both ontological and epistemological considerations; and recognizing how the epistemological implications of complexity foster the adoption of a pluralist stance in scientific research (and beyond).
The way in which science (complexity) is portrayed, i.e. as “perspectival” and inclined to pluralism, could impact on how it is thought, designed and socially perceived.
Complexity is one of most promising fields of contemporary science, but still lacks of a coherent frame of analysis. This requires an investigation from different point of views, as an object of interdisciplinary cooperation. The main paper’s value consists of providing second-order considerations which puts scientific findings in perspective and can contribute to a better understanding of their meaning from a philosophical standpoint too.