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Library and Information Science Paper (ID LIS071075)

The Relationship between Philosophy and Library and Information Science: Based on English Articles about Philosophy within Library and Information Science
No.71, p.75-97
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Purpose: This article discusses the relationship between philosophy and library and information science (LIS).

Method: The study uses a literature-based analysis of the relationship between philosophy and LIS. Important recent articles (published from May 2003 to April 2013) about philosophy in the field of LIS are collected, and their contents are analyzed.

Results: Most of the recent articles about philosophy in the field of LIS use philosophy (for ex-ample, neo-pragmatism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and post-structuralism)to study LIS. These articles argue that philosophy can contribute to the development of LIS, but do not use philoso-phy as a foundation for LIS studies. That is, they do not claim that philosophy involves rational methods; rational methods are imported or applied to LIS, thereby making LIS a scientific field. However, philosophy appears in ontological or epistemological approaches to LIS studies. These articles argue the kind of ontological or epistemological approaches that can contribute to the de-velopment of LIS, using concrete examples from LIS studies. Examining whether an ontological or epistemological approach can contribute to the development of LIS is important not only for studies of LIS but also for studies of philosophy. Showing that such an approach is useful involves proving the appropriateness of the approach. Hence, philosophy and LIS are closely related.

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