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Title:Documents from Head to Toe: Bodies of Knowledge in the Works of Paul Otlet and Georges Bataille
Author(s):Day, Ronald
Subject(s):Information science
Embodied experience
Abstract:This article contrasts Paul Otlet’s epistemology of documents with that of Georges Bataille’s in the late 1920s and early 1930s in regard to the body parts that they assign as sites and analogues for documents. A double meaning to the notion of documents emerges, defensive and offensive of and to twentieth-century European scientific epistemology, morality, and aesthetics: documents as the full and truthful representation of reality, and documents as the material inscription of social, cultural, and physical affordances leading to the reality of irrational drives. The brain as the site of the mind is said to be the physical location given to the former, and “the body” is the physical site given to the latter, reinforcing a traditional Western anatomical psychology determined by ideational and materialist ontologies and corresponding traditional bodily tropes for “reason” and “the senses.”
Issue Date:2018
Publisher:Johns Hopkins University Press. The School of Information Sciences at Illinois. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Citation Info:Day, Ronald E."Documents from Head to Toe: Bodies of Knowledge in the Works of Paul Otlet and Georges Bataille." Library Trends, vol. 66 no. 3, 2018, pp. 395-408. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/lib.2018.0009
Series/Report:Library Trends 66 (3). Winter 2018
Rights Information:Copyright 2018 Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-09-19

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