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Bacon, Warrant, and Classification Hope A. Olson School of Information Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

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Presentation on theme: "Bacon, Warrant, and Classification Hope A. Olson School of Information Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bacon, Warrant, and Classification Hope A. Olson School of Information Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

2 Warrant the justifying reason or ground for an action, belief, or feeling – OED justification for choice and order of classes or concepts in a classification

3 Pre-Baconian classifications Based on existing knowledge Reflect scientific inquiry or pedagogical goals Kusukawa, Sachiko. (1996). Bacons classification of knowledge. In The Cambridge Companion to Bacon, Markku Peltonen, ed., pp. 47-74. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

4 Aristotle Sciences independent of each other (Posterior Analytics) –Based on their own premisses Classification reflects essential attributes –Divided animals by their means of reproduction (Generation of Animals) Scientific warrant –Result of scientific inquiry

5 Liberal arts Late classical and medieval classifications are pedagogical Educational warrant Hugh of St. Victor –Educational warrant & literary warrant –What to read and in what order to gain wisdom to come closer to God

6 Francis Bacons Classification The Proficience and Advancement of Learning Divine and Human (The Advancement of Learning 1605) De dignitate et augmentis scientiarum (De augmentis 1623) – expanded Latin version

7 Francis Bacons Classification Classification to show integrated entirety of knowledge Include knowledge not yet developed Bacons approach to classification as: –Reflection of knowledge –Guide to expansion of knowledge

8 17 th C scholarship, in Bacons view, contributed to: magnificence and memory rather than to progression and proficience augment the mass of learning in the multitude of learned men rather than rectify or raise the sciences themselves (AL 66)

9 Human intellectual process The sense, which is the door of the intellect, is affected by individuals only. The images of those individuals – that is, the impressions which they make on the sense – fix themselves in the memory, and pass into it in the first instance entire as it were, just as they come. These the human mind proceeds to review and ruminate; and thereupon either simply rehearses them, or makes fanciful imitations of them, or analyses and classifies them. Wherefore from these fountains, Memory, Imagination, and Reason, flow these three emanations, History, Poesy, and Philosophy; and there can be no others. (De augmentis book II, chapter 1)

10 Human intellectual process Sense-data Impressions Review, Ruminate Imagination: Fanciful imitation Reason: Analyze, Classify HistoryPoesyPhilosophy Memory

11 Epistemological warrant Classificatory structure comes from the human intellectual process Includes knowledge yet to come the structure leads the development of knowledge rather than following it

12 Post-Baconian classifications Often use Bacons classes and sequence, but not epistemological warrant –Encyclopedists –Hegel –Melvil Dewey

13 French encyclopedists, Diderot and dAlembert, used the same main classes Pedagogical warrant

14 G.W.F. Hegel Hegels Being, Essence, & Idea parallel to Bacons History, Poesy, & Philosophy Ontological warrant

15 Dewey Decimal Classification DDC`0 Generalities 1 Philo- sophy 2 Reli- gion 3 Social Sci 4 Lan- guage 5 Scien- ces 6 Tech- nology 7 The Arts 8 Litera -ture 9 History BaconReason Philosophy Imagination Poetry Memory History HegelIdeaimperfect IdeaEssenceBeing HarrisScience (Philosophy)Art (Poetry)History Amherst College chapel to literary warrant

16 Bibliographic classifications LCC relies on literary warrant DDC now updated using literary warrant Bliss, Ranganathan, CRG advocate scientific or philosophical warrant Beghtol, Clare. (1986). Semantic validity: Concepts of warrant in bibliographic systems. Library Resources & Technical Services 30(April/June) 109-125

17 Classification as active agent Relationship between bibliographic classification and classification of knowledge If separate, literary warrant is sufficient If what is recorded and classified relates to knowledge, literary warrant is not sufficient

18 Gaps in knowledge Literary warrant cannot identify gaps –Based on record of existing knowledge Educational warrant cannot identify gaps –Based on teaching existing knowledge Ontological warrant cannot identify gaps –Based on what has been discovered to exist Scientific warrant reveals some gaps –Draws structure from what exists revealing some gaps

19 Epistemological warrants reveals gaps Postmodern doubts of universal frameworks Bacon leaves openings proposing his: small globe of the intellectual world, as truly and faithfully as I could discover

20 Attractive modesty & flexibility For I could not be true and constant to the argument I handle, if I were not willing to go beyond others, but yet not more willing than to have others go beyond me again: which may the better appear by this, that I have propounded my opinions naked and unarmed, not seeking to preoccupate the liberty of mens judgements by confutations. (AL 225)

21 Bacons argument Bacon advocates an epistemological warrant for classification He looks to classification to integrate knowledge and reveal gaps He acknowledges that his small globe of the intellectual world is not the ultimate universal framework

22 Bacon from the 21 st century A classification can: –Integrate knowledge –Reveal gaps; point to a research agenda Other classifications are potentially valid Alternative classifications based on epistemological stances can also: –Integrate knowledge –Reveal gaps; point to a research agenda

23 Hope A. Olson School of Information Studies University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

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