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Visualizing practical knowledge: The Haughton-Mars Project

By William J. Clancey


To improve how we envision knowledge, we must improve our ability to see knowledge in everyday life. That is, visualization is concerned not only with displaying facts and theories, but also with finding ways to express and relate tacit understanding. Such knowledge, although often referred to as "common," is not necessarily shared and may be distributed socially in choreographies for working together—in the manner that a chef and a maitre d’hôtel, who obviously possess very different skills, coordinate their work. Furthermore, non-verbal concepts cannot in principle be inventoried. Reifying practical knowledge is not a process of converting the implicit into the explicit, but pointing to what we know, showing its manifestations in our everyday life. To this end, I illustrate the study and reification of practical knowledge by examining the activities of a scientific expedition in the Canadian Arctic—a group of scientists preparing for a mission to Mar

Topics: Epistemology, Philosophy of Science
Publisher: BurdaCom, Munich, Germany
Year: 1999
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