16.188 (concept, topic &al.) mapping?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty (w.mccarty@btinternet.com)
Date: Thu Aug 29 2002 - 11:23:54 EDT

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                   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 <w.mccarty@btinternet.com>
             Subject: mapping?

    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,
    experimental, heuristic.

    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 || willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk |
    w.mccarty@btinternet.com | www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/

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