Design epistemology


I have a three year-old son named Noah. A personal joke has been that ‘epistemology’ would be one of the first words Noah would learn.

To an outsider, this idea must seem unbelievably nerdy: Just imagine the face of this little one as his father tells him about—epistemology! The pun is that Noah’s father believes that epistemology might be a clue that our next generation will need, to be able to solve the puzzle that we are leaving them—preserve the life on the planet.

In all my work I am developing details and consequences of a single idea. You’ll find it, for instance, expressed visually in the banner of this blog. I call this idea design epistemology.

Lately I had a chance to write up a summary. Bob Logan was editing a special issue of Information Journal titled Information: Its Different Modes and Its Relation to Meaning and I was invited to contribute.

The following paragraph motivates this interest and may be worth repeating:

A century ago, a profound change was under way in the arts: An explosion of styles and techniques, and of creativity, resulted when the artists challenged the assumption that the purpose of art was to mirror reality, by emulating the techniques of Old Masters. A similar change is now possible—and, we submit, also called for—in knowledge work, and in particular in the sciences. The “modern science” that, we envision, may result from this transformation, will however not be an academic equivalent of l’art pour l’art-ism but on the contrary, a way to make the positive difference that knowledge and knowledge work can and need to make, in this age.

The rest is in the article.

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