The interdisciplinary sharing of knowledge
Some reflections or conceptual distinctions around knowledge organisation systems
Keywords:interdisciplinarity, semantic interoperability, knowledge organization systems, ontological approach
Preserving semantics is particularly complex when the scope of sharing is interdisciplinary given the idiosyncrasies inherent in different knowledge communities. One potential solution to transcend disciplinary boundaries involves the use of the ontological approach to modulating new knowledge organization systems. The use of top-level ontologies or ontological meta-models as umbrella structures for other systems of smaller scope are possible examples of the application of such an approach in an interdisciplinary context. Despite the possible existence of some applications, a generalized adequacy to different epistemic perspectives is, within the postmodern culture, looked upon with great scepticism. Contrary to this view of incommensurability, the existence of a common horizon for scientific practice is presented as feasible and not an impediment to the integration of different perspectives on it. To this end, it is necessary to differentiate between statements of what exists (ontology) and test criteria (methodology), and not discard or confuse the three schemes (perceptual, conceptual and linguistic) involved in the relationship between subjects and their milieu.
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