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Olaf Breidbach

New Orders of Knowledge - How Cultural Knowledge is Created from Information and News

(German title: Neue Wissensordnungen)
ca. 182 pages
Paperback
2008
Olaf Breidbach
Foto: Olaf Breidbach
© Jürgen Bauer

Olaf Breidbach, born 1957, is Professor for the History of Sciences at the Friedrich-Schiller-University of Jena.

He is Director of the Institute for History of Medicine, Natural Science and Technology and Head of the Department Theoretical Biology.

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We live in a society that primarily generates knowledge rather than material things. Culture, as the connection between all possible interactions in a human society, transforms this knowledge that has evolved over time. What criteria should we apply to measure knowledge and information, and to what extent should we distinguish between the two?

First of all, information is simply only communications or news, but so as to be of use and value it must be related to the overall context of the information already available. Only when this criterion is met do you have knowledge. When information is structured news become a part of the whole, by creating an image that is more than the sum of all its parts.

The author examines the terms of reference that give rise to knowledge. In doing so he discovers something approaching an overarching authority, which enables the assessment of individual data. The text touches both on old philosophical traditions but also – based on neurobiological findings – the mathematical-technical functions of a modern knowledge culture