Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 16, No. 188.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
Date: Thu, 29 Aug 2002 08:20:56 -0700
From: Willard McCarty <email@example.com>
Numerous popular accounts of the several variations on the theme of
diagramming ideas and arguments, otherwise known as "concept mapping",
declare the eponymous ancestor to be the technique worked out by Stephen
Toulmin in The Uses of Argument (Cambridge, 1958). Of the secondary sources
I have been able to discover so far, the most helpful has been Brian R.
Gaines and Mildred L. G. Shaw, "Concept Maps as Hypermedia Components",
http://ksi.cpsc.ucalgary.ca/articles/ConceptMaps/. I would be grateful for
any references to a history and discussion of concept mapping, whether
called by that name or not. Especially useful would be one that dealt both
with its larger context in mapping as a whole and with its newer relations,
e.g. the now hugely popular subject of "topic maps". I am not interested in
straightforward engineering documents, i.e. that tell one how to map with
this or that system, though a philosophy of that engineering practice would
be gold to me. Rather I want to know about mapping as a technique for research.
I already know about and am reading John Ziman's work on scientific
practice, Reliable Knowledge (Canto, rpt. 1991) and the more recent Real
Science (Cambridge, 2000). Ziman in particular agues that mapping is a much
better metaphor with which to conceptualize scientific practice than is
modeling, but I feel a counterargument coming on and wish to encourage it.
I have the notion that mapping is centrally about getting a correct,
reliable version of its object, whereas modeling (in the sense common to
experimental physics, say) is centrally about probing it. Hence,
apparently, mapping is a kissing cousin of "knowledge representation" (in
computer science), whereas modeling is essentially present-participial,
Comments on any or all of the above are of course very welcome indeed.
Dr Willard McCarty | Senior Lecturer | Centre for Computing in the
Humanities | King's College London | Strand | London WC2R 2LS || +44 (0)20
7848-2784 fax: -2980 || firstname.lastname@example.org |
email@example.com | www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/
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