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Logic and the Organization of Information

frickeAuthor: Martin Frické
Publisher:  Springer (2012)

This book is not for everyone, but everyone who works with information should know why it is important. The author, an information science professor, believes that logic is fundamental to the field of information science. Most scholars and practitioners do not understand this important fact. He opens with a quote from 1929: “That the study of classification extends into logic… should not deter the educated librarian…”. Frické explains how Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz envisioned the use of logic to organize information in the 17th century, but notes that "The monumental and authoritative Encyclopedia of Library and Information Sciences, Third Edition, 2009, does not have an entry for logic in its 6,856 pages" (p 121).

Modern information scientists do not recognize the value of logic in their field because it is no longer a required subject and few of them have ever studied it. People who manage information should be able to turn to information science for guidance on how to use logic to organize information, but they cannot. Deficiency of logic education has become the root cause of many difficult and costly challenges facing every modern organization.

With the decline of logic education during the 20th century, it has become possible to earn a degree in almost any subject, including a PhD in information science, information management, or even computer science, without taking even a single introductory course in logic. This incredible fact highlights the irony of an advanced society that could not have developed without logic as the cornerstone of its education, but no longer expects it to be studied or understood.