Applied Epistemology and Understanding in Information Studies

Information Research 22 (4) (2017)
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Abstract

Introduction. Applied epistemology allows information studies to benefit from developments in philosophy. In information studies, epistemic concepts are rarely considered in detail. This paper offers a review of several epistemic concepts, focusing on understanding, as a call for further work in applied epistemology in information studies. Method. A hermeneutic literature review was conducted on epistemic concepts in information studies and philosophy. Relevant research was retrieved and reviewed iteratively as the research area was refined. Analysis. A conceptual analysis was conducted to determine the nature and relationships of the concepts surveyed, with an eye toward synthesizing conceptualizations of understanding and opening future research directions. Results. The epistemic aim of understanding is emerging as a key research frontier for information studies. Two modes of understanding (hermeneutic and epistemological) were brought into a common framework. Conclusions. Research on understanding in information studies will further naturalistic information research and provide coherence to several strands of philosophic thought.

Author's Profile

Tim Gorichanaz
Drexel University

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