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Information Science as an Interscience - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780081001400, 9780081001837

Information Science as an Interscience

1st Edition

Rethinking Science, Method and Practice

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Author: Fanie de Beer
Paperback ISBN: 9780081001400
eBook ISBN: 9780081001837
Imprint: Chandos Publishing
Published Date: 13th March 2015
Page Count: 156
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Table of Contents

1. An acritical philosophy of information

  • 1.1 Introduction
  • 1.2 Philosophy as an act of thinking
  • 1.3 Philosophy and science
  • 1.4 Philosophy and information science
  • 1.5 Modes of thinking
  • 1.6 Conclusion
  • References

2. Towards the idea of information science as an interscience

  • 2.1 Introduction
  • 2.2 Changes in landscape
  • 2.3 Rethinking human thinking
  • 2.4 A new scientific approach
  • 2.5 Challenges to information science
  • 2.6 Information science: its functioning and responsibility
  • References

3. Information science in a post-scientific position: Part 1: The limitations of science and information science

  • 3.1 Introduction
  • 3.2 The traditional, generally accepted conception of science
  • 3.3 Information science seems to be out of step (and will remain out of step, unless …)
  • 3.4 Thinking differently about science
  • 3.5 Conclusion
  • References

4. Information science in a post-scientific position: Part 2: The conditions for an alternative

  • 4.1 Introduction
  • 4.2 Alternative offered to information science in terms of this other conception of science
  • 4.3 A newly invented set of conceptual equipment should be proposed
  • 4.4 The gap between information science and information work closes up
  • References

5. Method/beyond-method: the demands, challenges and excitements of scholarly information work

  • 5.1 Introduction: the essence and necessity of scholarly engagement
  • 5.2 The complexity of the field of the research endeavours
  • 5.3 Methodological demands and challenges and a situation beyond-method
  • 5.4 The rewards and excitements of scholarly work
  • References

6. Methodology and noology: Amazing prospects for library and information science

  • 6.1 Introduction
  • 6.2 The methodology of complexity of Edgar Morin: A noological situation beyond-method
  • 6.3 The acritical anti-method of Michel Serres: Multiple connective intellection
  • 6.4 Conclusion
  • References

7. Let the new knowledge come: the atlas of knowledges

  • 7.1 Introduction
  • 7.2 Reasons for such an emphasis on knowledge
  • 7.3 Inflationary knowledge abuse
  • 7.4 In pursuit of a new conception of knowledge
  • 7.5 The necessity for embracing the new knowledge culture
  • 7.6 Language, intellectual capabilities and the use of terminology (vocabulary building)
  • 7.7 Conclusion
  • References

8. The contemporary knowledge worker (the troubadour of knowledge): comprehensive and exciting challenges

  • 8.1 Introduction: the new knowledge age and its challenges
  • 8.2 An exploration of the new qualities of the knowledge worker to be reinvented
  • 8.3 Conclusion
  • References

9. A proposed philosophico-ethical approach towards the electronic information era

  • 9.1 Introduction
  • 9.2 Assumptions of the ‘critique’ philosophers
  • 9.3 Towards an ‘acritical’ philosophy
  • 9.4 Acritical philosophy: a radically different mode of thinking
  • References


Science is first and foremost an intellectual activity, an activity of thought. Therefore, how do we, as information scientists, respond intellectually to what is happening in the world of information and knowledge development, given the context of new sociocultural and knowledge landscapes? Information Science as an Interscience poses many challenges both to information science, philosophy and to information practice, and only when information science is understood as an interscience that operates in a multifaceted way, will it be able to comply with these challenges. In the fulfilment of this task it needs to be accompanied by a philosophical approach that will take it beyond the merely critical and linear approach to scientific work. For this reason a critical philosophical approach is proposed that will be characterised by multiple styles of thinking and organised by a compositional inspiration. This initiative is carried by the conviction that information science will hereby be enabled to make contributions to significant knowledge inventions that may bring about a better world. Chapters focus on the rethinking of human thinking, our unique ability that enables us to cope with the world in which we live, in terms of the unique science with which we are involved. Subsequent chapters explore different approaches to the establishment of a new scientific spirit, the demands these developments pose for human thinking, for questions of method and the implications for information science regarding its proposed functioning as a nomad science in the context of information practice and information work. Final chapters highlight the proposed responsibility of focusing on information and inventiveness and new styles of information and knowledge work.

Key Features

  • focuses on rethinking information science to achieve a constructive scientific approach
  • provides an alternative methodological approach in the study of information science
  • shows how a change in scientific approach will have vast implications for the understanding and dissemination of knowledge
  • presents the implications of a new approach for knowledge workers, and the dynamics of their work
  • explores the future of thinking about science, knowledge and its nature and the ethical implications


Researchers and academics in the Information Science field, along with students and professionals working in other, transdisciplinary fields.


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© Chandos Publishing 2015
13th March 2015
Chandos Publishing
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

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About the Author

Fanie de Beer

Carel S. (Fanie) de Beer is Emeritus Professor at the Department of Information Science, University of South Africa (Unisa), Pretoria, South Africa, and is currently an Extraordinary Professor of Information Science at the University of Pretoria. He graduated in Agriculture and Philosophy (doctoral studies) at the University of Pretoria and the University of Paris X. Nanterre, France. He has taught Philosophy, Communications and Information Science at various universities, undertaken research in all these fields, and was involved in consultancy work in the fields of knowledge generation, invention, dissemination and application. His research interests include the philosophy and theory of information, philosophies and theories of technics and technology, and knowledge invention, dissemination and utilization. He is also committed to research on reading theory and on the re-invention of human spirituality and noology.

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus Professor, Department of Information Science, University of South Africa (Unisa), Pretoria, South Africa.