A Theory of Public Knowledge

  • Miksa, Shawne D. ;
  • McLain, Chinami
  • Received : 2019.05.23
  • Accepted : 2019.06.08
  • Published : 2019.06.30


A theory of public knowledge is offered for the purposes of defining more clearly its role in information systems and classification schemas. Public knowledge is knowledge intended to be available for use in a public system. It is knowledge accessible to the public or knowledge in the public arena as opposed to the other seemingly multitudinous ways to describe knowledge. Furthermore, there are many different public arenas or small worlds. Public knowledge, irrespective of these different arenas, has four important overlying characteristics: It is consensual, it does not imply complete truth or certainty, it is autonomous, and it has a constant renewal of old knowledge with new knowledge. Each of these attributes has been culled from a study of the works of Patrick Wilson, Karl Popper, and John Ziman.


public knowledge;information systems;classification;theory;small worlds


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