Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto - OCS, 15th INTERNATIONAL ISKO CONFERENCE

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Denis Kos, Sonja Špiranec, Ante Čović

Last modified: 2017-12-18



This doctoral paper reports on the current state of a doctoral thesis by PhD candidate Denis Kos from the Department of Information and Communication Science in Zagreb. It presents an original research approach to organize knowledge and provide documentational support in the field of bioethics. It is grounded:

  • in the specific conceptualization of integrative bioethics (IB) which approaches bioethical topics with intent to integratively preserve the pluralism of perspectives that contribute to a full characterization of different bioethical phenomena i.e. pluriperspectivistically,
  • in the conceptualization of an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary knowledge organization (KO) as it was discussed by different authors in the field of KO (Hjørland & Albrechtsen, 1995; Broughton, 2002; Gnoli, Bosch i Mazzocchi, 2007; Leon Manifesto, 2007; Gnoli, 2008a; Cameron & Mengler, 2009; García Gutiérrez, 2011; Gnoli, 2012; Lopez-Huertas, 2013; García Gutiérrez, 2014; Kleineberg, 2014; Albrechtsen, 2015; Lopez-Huertas, 2015; Szostak, Gnoli & Lopez-Huertas, 2016), and
  • in the evocation of the concept of perspectives in IB and KO (Leon Manifesto, 2007; Gnoli, 2008b; Cameron i Mengler, 2009; García Gutiérrez, 2011; Kaipainen i Hautamäki, 2011; Gnoli, 2012; Lopez-Huertas, 2013; García Gutiérrez, 2014; Kleineberg, 2014; Lopez-Huertas, 2015; Szostak, Gnoli i Lopez-Huertas, 2016) and the viewpoint warrant in KO (Beghtol, 2002).

These foundations of the thesis all stem from the critique of the domination of disciplinary perspectives and the idea that we have to address scientific monoperspectivism by representation of a higher complexity of the world which warrants the ability to look at knowledge from a number of different perspectives. However, Szostak, Gnoli & Lopez-Huertas (2016) stipulated that in order to achieve this one first has to determine how much perspectival ambiguity there is in different studied knowledge domains.

Objectives & Proposed Methodology

The objective of this paper is to present why ethical issues have potential to be used as a starting point for investigative methodologies that aim to map the perspectival ambiguity surrounding particular (bioethical) phenomena.

The author will also expand on the proposed methodology to achieve the research goals of the accepted thesis proposal. Proposed methodology consists of

  • a conceptual analysis of the concept of viewpoint warrant in order to elaborate its definition in the context of transdisciplinary KO, and in order to map the role of relevant concepts in its definition like: transdisciplinary knowledge, perspectives, knowledge integration, pluriperspectivism etc.;
  • a bibliometrical and content analysis of literature in the field of IB to create a prototype system of relationships between studied bioethical phenomena, explored perspectives and characteristics of documents they are affiliated with;
  • a study of consensus of experts by using the Delphi method in order to submit the constructed prototype for validation which will be based upon group consensus of its exhaustiveness and appropriatness of term respresentation.

Expected Results & Contributions

This paper will propose that ethical issues, as one of the most ambiguous areas of study, are central to studies of perspectival ambiguity which remains a key challenge of transdisciplinary KO, and will propose methodologies to approach the resolution of these challenges.


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Keywords: transdisciplinary knowledge organization; perspectives; pluriperspectivism; integrative bioethics