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Related: authority - descriptions - concepts - idea - reality - opinion - semantics - theory


Knowledge is understanding something or being able to do something. The things we know are facts, truths or information. Obtaining knowledge is called learning. This article looks at the philosophical study of knowledge, epistemology; it then looks at how knowledge is manipulated in organizations, and at the social character of knowledge. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge [Sept 2005]

See also: descriptions - concepts - theory - reality - authority - opinion - semantics

The representation of knowledge

Knowledge representation is needed for library classification and for processing concepts in an information system. In the field of artificial intelligence, problem solving can be simplified by an appropriate choice of knowledge representation. Representing the knowledge in one way may make the solution simple, while an unfortunate choice of representation may make the solution difficult or obscure; the analogy is to make computations in Arabic numerals or in Roman numerals; long division is simpler in one and harder in the other. Likewise, there is no representation which can serve all purposes or make every problem equally approachable.

While hyperlinks have come into widespread use, the closely related semantic link is not yet widely used. The numeric table has been used since Babylonian times. More recently, these tables have been used to represent logic operations, as truth tables, which were used to study and model Boolean logic, for example. Spreadsheets are yet another tabular representation of knowledge. Other knowledge representations are trees, which echoes the Biblical tree of knowledge. -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knowledge_representation [Dec 2004]

The sociology of knowledge

The sociology of knowledge is the study of the social origins of ideas, and of the effects that prevailing ideas have on societies.

The term first came into widespread use in the 1920s, when a number of German-speaking sociologists wrote extensively on it, notably Max Scheler, and Karl Mannheim with Ideology and Utopia. With the dominance of functionalism through the middle years of the 20th century, the sociology of knowledge tended to remain on the periphery of mainstream sociological thought. It was largely reinvented and applied much more closely to everyday life in the 1960s, particularly by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann in The social construction of reality (1966) and is still central for methods dealing with qualitative understanding of human society.

Although very influential within modern sociology, the sociology of knowledge can claim its most significant impact on science more generally through its contribution to debate and understanding of the nature of science itself, most notably through the work of Thomas Kuhn on The structure of scientific revolutions --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_knowledge [2004]

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