Introduction to Information science

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Information science is the study of information and the manner in which it is communicated between humans within the context of the information phenomenon.

Information science studies information from a meta data perspective. That is to say that it is concerned with the properties of information in general, rather than the content of specific information itself. This is in contrast to other subjects, for example Botany, which would study the contents of information relating to plant life, without being concerned with studying how the information is transferred to the student.

The information science field of study covers three areas of interest:

These three areas are interrelated because human beings need to communicate in order to exist successfully, and the matter which is being communicated between the humans is information.

Information science is accepted as a interdisciplinary science which is concerned with studies as per the table of contents below:

Humanity[edit]

Subject[edit]

  • A subject is an observer, a person that is consciously aware being in the world.
  • The subject is aware of what is happening in their mind and body. The subject alone has direct access to their own thoughts, no other person can directly know the subjects thoughts and feelings.
    • You can only deduce indirectly what another person is thinking or planning to do from what they tell you or by observing their actions. For example if you see someone filling a kettle with water, you could guess that they are about to make some tea, or if you hear them yell from the kitchen you could guess that they have scalded themselves.
  • You cannot directly experience the thoughts of feelings of another subject.

Other People[edit]

  • As a subject one is more knowledgeable about oneself than of other people.
  • Other people exist, and they share certain similarities with the subject.
  • Subjects become aware of other people through their senses.
    • Physical properties of other people are observed directly, e.g. gender, height, race, hair colour. Subjects may deduce what other people are thinking or feeling based on assumption that the other people are similar to the subjects themselves. These assumptions are based on the behaviour of the other people e.g. the subject may decide that the other people are intelligent, deceitful or friendly.
  • This is termed the behaviourist approach. It is not necessarily the most reliable way of acquiring knowledge, however it is commonly used. Results gathered in this fashion are normally acceptable, as often it is impractical to use more stringent means.
    • These types of untested results may be referred to as "folk" knowledge.

Cognitive science[edit]

  • Cognitive linguistics
  • Cognitive psychology
  • Epistemology
  • Neuroscience

Ecology[edit]

Natural[edit]

  • Natural sciences

Cultural[edit]

  • Anthropology
  • Behaviorism
  • Symbolism
  • Critical studies
  • Cybernetics
  • Information technology

Historicity[edit]

Historical relics[edit]

  • Curatorship, museology

Historical records[edit]

  • Librarianship, library science

Historical Information Science[edit]

  • Lawrence J. McCrank (2002) Historical Information Science: An Emerging Unidiscipline [1]

Methodology[edit]

Science of science[edit]

  • Empiricism
  • Rationalism
  • Reductionism
  • Atomism
  • Phenomenology

See also[edit]

References