A Dialectical Approach to Information Retrieval: Exploring a Contradiction in Terms

CLARE VICTORIA THORNLEY

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

Abstract

Information retrieval (IR) is the process of representing the meaning of documents so that people who want the information they contain can retrieve them. It is, therefore, centrally concerned with information and meaning. It is concerned with them both on a pragmatic level in terms of designing and making IR systems, and on a theoretical level in terms of why and how these systems work and what this could have to do with the nature of meaning and information. This thesis is primarily about the theoretical and philosophical issues in IR. The main question discussed is the extent to which an investigation into the relationship between the subjective and the objective can improve our understanding of how meaning and information operate in IR. My thesis is that this relationship is a dialectical one, the subjective and the objective exist in a mutually antagonistic and dependent relationship, and that this new perspective on its nature can be theoretically useful for IR. Thus I develop a new theoretical perspective, the dialectical model, which is then used to improve conceptual clarity in a number of difficult and intractable IR problems. The aim is not to solve these problems but to provide a clearer insight into their nature.
LanguageEnglish
QualificationPhD
Awarding Institution
  • University Of Strathclyde
Print ISBNs0022-0418
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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information retrieval

Keywords

  • information retrieval
  • dialectics
  • computer science

Cite this

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title = "A Dialectical Approach to Information Retrieval: Exploring a Contradiction in Terms",
abstract = "Information retrieval (IR) is the process of representing the meaning of documents so that people who want the information they contain can retrieve them. It is, therefore, centrally concerned with information and meaning. It is concerned with them both on a pragmatic level in terms of designing and making IR systems, and on a theoretical level in terms of why and how these systems work and what this could have to do with the nature of meaning and information. This thesis is primarily about the theoretical and philosophical issues in IR. The main question discussed is the extent to which an investigation into the relationship between the subjective and the objective can improve our understanding of how meaning and information operate in IR. My thesis is that this relationship is a dialectical one, the subjective and the objective exist in a mutually antagonistic and dependent relationship, and that this new perspective on its nature can be theoretically useful for IR. Thus I develop a new theoretical perspective, the dialectical model, which is then used to improve conceptual clarity in a number of difficult and intractable IR problems. The aim is not to solve these problems but to provide a clearer insight into their nature.",
keywords = "information retrieval, dialectics, computer science",
author = "THORNLEY, {CLARE VICTORIA}",
year = "2005",
language = "English",
isbn = "0022-0418",
school = "University Of Strathclyde",

}

THORNLEY, CLAREVICTORIA 2005, 'A Dialectical Approach to Information Retrieval: Exploring a Contradiction in Terms', PhD, University Of Strathclyde.

A Dialectical Approach to Information Retrieval: Exploring a Contradiction in Terms. / THORNLEY, CLARE VICTORIA.

2005. 288 p.

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

TY - THES

T1 - A Dialectical Approach to Information Retrieval: Exploring a Contradiction in Terms

AU - THORNLEY, CLARE VICTORIA

PY - 2005

Y1 - 2005

N2 - Information retrieval (IR) is the process of representing the meaning of documents so that people who want the information they contain can retrieve them. It is, therefore, centrally concerned with information and meaning. It is concerned with them both on a pragmatic level in terms of designing and making IR systems, and on a theoretical level in terms of why and how these systems work and what this could have to do with the nature of meaning and information. This thesis is primarily about the theoretical and philosophical issues in IR. The main question discussed is the extent to which an investigation into the relationship between the subjective and the objective can improve our understanding of how meaning and information operate in IR. My thesis is that this relationship is a dialectical one, the subjective and the objective exist in a mutually antagonistic and dependent relationship, and that this new perspective on its nature can be theoretically useful for IR. Thus I develop a new theoretical perspective, the dialectical model, which is then used to improve conceptual clarity in a number of difficult and intractable IR problems. The aim is not to solve these problems but to provide a clearer insight into their nature.

AB - Information retrieval (IR) is the process of representing the meaning of documents so that people who want the information they contain can retrieve them. It is, therefore, centrally concerned with information and meaning. It is concerned with them both on a pragmatic level in terms of designing and making IR systems, and on a theoretical level in terms of why and how these systems work and what this could have to do with the nature of meaning and information. This thesis is primarily about the theoretical and philosophical issues in IR. The main question discussed is the extent to which an investigation into the relationship between the subjective and the objective can improve our understanding of how meaning and information operate in IR. My thesis is that this relationship is a dialectical one, the subjective and the objective exist in a mutually antagonistic and dependent relationship, and that this new perspective on its nature can be theoretically useful for IR. Thus I develop a new theoretical perspective, the dialectical model, which is then used to improve conceptual clarity in a number of difficult and intractable IR problems. The aim is not to solve these problems but to provide a clearer insight into their nature.

KW - information retrieval

KW - dialectics

KW - computer science

UR - http://www.cis.strath.ac.uk/~ir/research_students/digital%20library/clarethornleyphd.pdf

M3 - Master's Thesis

SN - 0022-0418

ER -