Documentation redux: prolegomenon to (another) philosophy of information. Frohmann, B. Library Trends, 52(3):387--407, 2004.
abstract   bibtex   
A philosophy of information is grounded in a philosophy of documentation. Nunberg's conception of the phenomenon of information heralds a shift of attention away from the question "What is information?" toward a critical investigation of the sources and legitimation of the ques- tion itself Analogies between Wittgenstein's deconstruction of philosoph- ical accounts of meaning and a corresponding deconstruction of philosoph- ical accounts of information suggest that because the informativeness of a document depends on certain kinds of practices with it, and because infor- mation emerges as an effect of such practices, documentary practices are ontologically primary to information. The informativeness of documents therefore refers us to the properties of documentary practices. These fall into four broad categories: their materiality; their institutional sites; the ways in which they are socially disciplined; and their historical contingency. Two examples from early modern science, which contrast the scholastic docu- mentary practices of continental natural philosophers to those of their peers in Restoration England, illustrate the richness of the factors that must be taken into account to understand how documents become informing.
@article{frohmann_documentation_2004,
	title = {Documentation redux: prolegomenon to (another) philosophy of information},
	volume = {52},
	shorttitle = {Documentation redux},
	abstract = {A philosophy of information is grounded in a philosophy of documentation. Nunberg's conception of the phenomenon of information heralds a shift of attention away from the question "What is information?" toward a critical investigation of the sources and legitimation of the ques- tion itself Analogies between Wittgenstein's deconstruction of philosoph- ical accounts of meaning and a corresponding deconstruction of philosoph- ical accounts of information suggest that because the informativeness of a document depends on certain kinds of practices with it, and because infor- mation emerges as an effect of such practices, documentary practices are ontologically primary to information. The informativeness of documents therefore refers us to the properties of documentary practices. These fall into four broad categories: their materiality; their institutional sites; the ways in which they are socially disciplined; and their historical contingency. Two examples from early modern science, which contrast the scholastic docu-
mentary practices of continental natural philosophers to those of their peers in Restoration England, illustrate the richness of the factors that must be taken into account to understand how documents become informing.},
	number = {3},
	journal = {Library Trends},
	author = {Frohmann, Bernd},
	year = {2004},
	keywords = {documentation, information, information theory, library, ontology, phenomenology, philosophy of information},
	pages = {387--407}
}

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