Re: [OPE] intermission: value of knowledge

From: Paul Cockshott <>
Date: Thu Nov 19 2009 - 05:19:29 EST

Jurriaan Bendien wrote:
> Hi Dogan,
> The distinction between knowledge and information is exceptionally important
> for the transformation of intellectual property into a tradeable commodity.
> Namely, knowledge can exist only within human bodies, and requires conscious
> awareness, i.e. a knower.
> Information is something that can be lodged in some kind of recording
> device, in a social relation, or in the human body.
> By the time that we confuse knowledge with information, however, we have
> reified knowledge by substituting an object for the knowing subject.
 I think this goes some of the way to the answer but is not quite right.

I would say that whilst all knowledge is information, not all
information is knowledge.
If a person has knowledge about something, it is because the brain has a
memory and can store information. Knowledge typically relates to how to
do something, or how something works, and as such is a very particular
kind of information.

I would not go on and say that knowledge is a property of the knowing
subject alone, I see that as a reversion to speculative philosophy.
Knowledge is embodied in structures that are more complex than one
individual : typically an organised collectivity of people - the
engineering department of a firm + all of its manuals, blueprints and
cad data and records. No person knows how to build an A380, but Airbus
Industries does. Bringing in categories from speculative philosophy does
not help us here. We need to look at the way knowledge is actually used
and produced in a modern economy.
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Received on Thu Nov 19 05:33:06 2009

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