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

C.S De Beer


When we think of information science as an inter-science, and when the philosophy of information is reflected upon in acritical terms, what emerges is a formidable and extremely exciting subject field filled with dynamic dimensions that invoke comprehensive promises of novel inventions that can take not only the subject field as such, but also the workers in this subject field, to new heights of insight and celebration. This requires sensible and thoughtful methodological commitments to come to terms, in a scholarly way, with the challenges and demands of a complex field in order to reach the promised excitements. Ample illustrations of the 'dizzy' and 'fussy' field of information and knowledge in its full complexity are discussed in terms of the work of three scholars in Information Science. The comprehensive research on language, philosophy and information by David Blair (2006), the thorough research on the deflation of information by Bernd Frohmann (2004), and the equally substantial work done by Rainer Kuhlen (2004) on information ethics as it relates to knowledge ecology, will be focused on in order to demonstrate to what extent they take us beyond the current methods used in the field, albeit not far enough. The work done by Edgar Morin and Michel Serres will be used to show to what extent we can indeed move much further beyond the regular methodological strategies towards other, more thoughtful methodological approaches for responsible, exciting and truly inventive research.


beyond-method; language and meaning; deflating information; information ethics and knowledge ecology; noology

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