Aktør-netværk og vidensorganisation

Frank Christensen


In order to organise and represent knowledge properly we must know how it is produced. Based on the actor-network theory of Bruno Latour, this paper analyses the power structures and processes involved in the production of knowledge within the sciences. Subsequently the consequences of these structures on the organisation of knowledge are drawn. For any one unexplained phenomenon there will be several conflicting theories. Which of these that will eventually be accepted by the greater scientific community, and thus achieve the status of knowledge, is decided upon in the scientific discourse. The author claims that gaining acceptance of a theory is not a question of being in the right, but of being powerful. The scientist must summon the sufficient resources with which he/she is able to gang up on the other theories and force them to leave the field of the domain. These resources may be material (position, economy, etc.), but it is those occuring in the scientific discourse, the documents, that are of interest to information science. The paper alikens the discourse to a conversation in which the documents act as statements and arguments, and as such form a language. The language philosophy of the later Wittgenstein is used to explain the principles and dynamics of the scientific discourse.

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