Outline of knowledge

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The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to knowledge:

Knowledge – familiarity with someone or something, which can include facts, information, descriptions, and/or skills acquired through experience or education. It can refer to the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject. It can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); and it can be more or less formal or systematic.[1]

Types of knowledge

  • A priori and a posteriori knowledge – these terms are used with respect to reasoning(epistemology) to distinguish necessary conclusions from first premises...
  • Descriptive knowledge – also called declarative knowledge or propositional knowledge, it is the type of knowledge that is, by its very nature, expressed in declarative sentences or indicative propositions (e.g., "Albert is fat", or "It is raining"). This is distinguished from what is commonly known as "know-how" or procedural knowledge (the knowledge of how, and especially how best, to perform some task), and "knowing of", or knowledge by acquaintance (the knowledge of something's existence).
  • Experience – knowledge or mastery of an event or subject gained through involvement in or exposure to it.[4]
    • Empirical evidence – also referred to as empirical data, empirical knowledge, and sense experience, it is a collective term for the knowledge or source of knowledge acquired by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation.[5] After Immanuel Kant, it is common in philosophy to call the knowledge thus gained a posteriori knowledge. This is contrasted with a priori knowledge, the knowledge accessible from pure reason alone.
  • Explicit knowledge – knowledge that can be readily articulated, codified, accessed and verbalized.[6] It can be easily transmitted to others. Most forms of explicit knowledge can be stored in certain media. The information contained in encyclopedias and textbooks are good examples of explicit knowledge.
  • Extelligence – term coined by Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen in their 1997 book Figments of Reality. They define it as the cultural capital that is available to us in the form of external media (e.g. tribal legends, folklore, nursery rhymes, books, videotapes, CD-ROMs, etc.).
  • Knowledge by acquaintance – according to Bertrand Russell, knowledge by acquaintance is obtained through a direct causal (experience-based) interaction between a person and the object that person is perceiving. Sense-data from that object are the only things that people can ever become acquainted with; they can never truly KNOW the physical object itself. The distinction between "knowledge by acquaintance" and "knowledge by description" was promoted by Russell (notably in his 1905 paper On Denoting). Russell was extremely critical of the equivocal nature of the word "know", and believed that the equivocation arose from a failure to distinguish between the two fundamentally different types of knowledge.
  • Libre knowledge – knowledge released in such a way that users are free to read, listen to, watch, or otherwise experience it; to learn from or with it; to copy, adapt and use it for any purpose; and to share the work (unchanged or modified). Whilst shared tacit knowledge is regarded as implicitly libre, (explicit) libre knowledge is defined as a generalisation of the libre software definition.
  • Metaknowledge – knowledge about knowledge. Bibliographies are a form of metaknowledge. Patterns within scientific literature is another.
  • Procedural knowledge – also known as imperative knowledge, it is the knowledge exercised in the performance of some task. Commonly referred to as "know-how".
  • Self-knowledge – information that an individual draws upon when finding an answer to the question "What am I like?".
  • Tacit knowledge – kind of knowledge that is difficult to transfer to another person by means of writing it down or verbalizing it. For example, that London is in the United Kingdom is a piece of explicit knowledge that can be written down, transmitted, and understood by a recipient. However, the ability to speak a language, knead dough, play a musical instrument or design and use complex equipment requires all sorts of knowledge that is not always known explicitly, even by expert practitioners, and which is difficult or impossible to explicitly transfer to other users.

Bodies of recorded knowledge

  • Academic discipline – branch of knowledge that is taught and researched as part of higher education. A scholar's discipline is commonly defined and recognized by the university faculties and learned societies to which he or she belongs and the academic journals in which he or she publishes research. However, no formal criteria exist for defining an academic discipline.
  • Curriculum – totality of student experiments that occur in the educational process.[7][8] The term often refers specifically to a planned sequence of instruction, or to a view of planned student's experiences in terms of the educator's or school's instructional goals. Curricula may be tightly standardized, or may include a high level of instructor or learner autonomy.[9] Many countries have national curricula in primary and secondary education, such as the United Kingdom's National Curriculum.
  • Encyclopedia – type of reference work or compendium holding a comprehensive summary of information from either all branches of knowledge or a particular branch of knowledge.[10] Encyclopedias are divided into articles or entries, which are usually accessed alphabetically by article name.[11] Encyclopedia entries are longer and more detailed than those in most dictionaries.[11] Generally speaking, unlike dictionary entries, which focus on linguistic information about words, encyclopedia articles focus on factual information concerning the subject for which the article is named.[12][13][14][15]
  • Library – collection of sources of information and similar resources, made accessible to a defined community for reference or borrowing.[18] It provides physical or digital access to material, and may be a physical building or room, or a virtual space, or both.[19] A library's collection can include books, periodicals, newspapers, manuscripts, films, maps, prints, documents, microform, CDs, cassettes, videotapes, DVDs, Blu-ray Discs, e-books, audiobooks, databases, and other formats. Libraries range in size from a few shelves of books to several million items.

Epistemology (philosophy of knowledge)

  • Epistemology – philosophy of knowledge. It is the study of knowledge and justified belief. It questions what knowledge is and how it can be acquired, and the extent to which knowledge pertinent to any given subject or entity can be acquired. Much of the debate in this field has focused on the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to connected notions such as truth, belief, and justification.

Management of knowledge

Knowledge acquisition

Methods for attaining knowledge include:

Knowledge storage

Knowledge can be stored in:

Knowledge retrieval

Stored knowledge can be retrieved by:

Imparting Knowledge

Imparting Knowledge – spreading or disseminating knowledge to others

  • Communication – purposeful activity of information exchange between two or more participants in order to convey or receive the intended meanings through a shared system of signs and semiotic rules. The basic steps of communication are the forming of communicative intent, message composition, message encoding, transmission of signal, reception of signal, message decoding and interpretation of the message by the recipient. Examples of methods of communication used to impart knowledge include:
  • Education – process of facilitating learning

History of the knowledge of humanity

Politics of knowledge

Knowledge of humanity

The world's knowledge (knowledge possessed by human civilization)


See also


  1. http://oxforddictionaries.com/view/entry/m_en_us1261368#m_en_us1261368
  2. Sommers 2003
  3. Galen Strawson has stated that an a priori argument is one in which "you can see that it is true just lying on your couch. You don't have to get up off your couch and go outside and examine the way things are in the physical world. You don't have to do any science."[2]
  4. Compare various contemporary definitions given in the OED (2nd edition, 1989): "[...] 3. The actual observation of facts or events, considered as a source of knowledge.[...] 4. a. The fact of being consciously the subject of a state or condition, or of being consciously affected by an event. [...] b. In religious use: A state of mind or feeling forming part of the inner religious life; the mental history (of a person) with regard to religious emotion. [...] 6. What has been experienced; the events that have taken place within the knowledge of an individual, a community, mankind at large, either during a particular period or generally. [...] 7. a. Knowledge resulting from actual observation or from what one has undergone. [...] 8. The state of having been occupied in any department of study or practice, in affairs generally, or in the intercourse of life; the extent to which, or the length of time during which, one has been so occupied; the aptitudes, skill, judgement, etc. thereby acquired."
  5. Pickett 2006, p. 585
  6. Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  7. Kelly 2009, p. 13.
  8. Wiles, Jon (2008). Leading Curriculum Development. p. 2. ISBN 9781412961417.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Adams 2003, pp. 33–34.
  10. "Encyclopedia". Archived from the original on 2007-08-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Glossary of Library Terms. Riverside City College, Digital Library/Learning Resource Center. Retrieved on: November 17, 2007.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Hartmann, R. R. K.; James, Gregory; Gregory James (1998). Dictionary of Lexicography. Routledge. p. 48. ISBN 0-415-14143-5. Retrieved July 27, 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Béjoint, Henri (2000). Modern Lexicography, pp. 30–31. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-829951-6
  13. "Encyclopaedia". Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved July 27, 2010. An English lexicographer, H.W. Fowler, wrote in the preface to the first edition (1911) of The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English language that a dictionary is concerned with the uses of words and phrases and with giving information about the things for which they stand only so far as current use of the words depends upon knowledge of those things. The emphasis in an encyclopedia is much more on the nature of the things for which the words and phrases stand.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Hartmann, R. R. K.; Gregory James (1998). Dictionary of Lexicography. Routledge. p. 49. ISBN 0-415-14143-5. Retrieved July 27, 2010. In contrast with linguistic information, encyclopedia material is more concerned with the description of objective realities than the words or phrases that refer to them. In practice, however, there is no hard and fast boundary between factual and lexical knowledge.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. Cowie, Anthony Paul (2009). The Oxford History of English Lexicography, Volume I. Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-415-14143-5. Retrieved August 17, 2010. An 'encyclopedia' (encyclopaedia) usually gives more information than a dictionary; it explains not only the words but also the things and concepts referred to by the words.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales Speaks Out On China And Internet Freedom". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-09-24. Currently Wikipedia, Facebook and Twitter remain blocked in China<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "'Technology can topple tyrants': Jimmy Wales an eternal optimist". Sydney Morning Herald. 7 November 2011.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Library - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". merriam-webster.com.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. "Library ... collection of books, public or private; room or building where these are kept; similar collection of films, records, computer routines, etc. or place where they are kept; series of books issued in similar bindings as set."--Allen, R. E., ed. (1984) The Pocket Oxford Dictionary of Current English. Oxford: Clarendon Press; p. 421

External links