The Organisation of Knowledge


REGARDING the remarks made in NATURE of May 6 on the address of Dr. F. L. Hoffman at the American Association, it might be suggested that the organisation of facts for commercial uses is of a different order than the organisation of knowledge for the purpose of understanding the operations of Nature or of ascertaining a particular law of cause and effect. A man who collects data may, or may not, have imagination. A man may also classify facts quite mechanically according to a scheme laid down. The successful “business organiser,” however, usually has a new plan and sets others to work to collect facts for him to organise or re-organise. He knows at the start why he wants the facts and how to use them. Imagination is required by such an organiser because he has to adjust his methods not only to his data but to human beings and a changing world.

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LEISENRING, W. The Organisation of Knowledge. Nature 109, 715–716 (1922).

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