Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Date of this Version



Hjorland contends that in order to further the goal of linking researchers to relevant information ‘domain analysis’ should be used in concept classification. He thinks that concept classification should not strive to classify on the basis of the properties of objects, but rather on descriptions of objects that are loosely derived from human activity and social negotiation. Currently, most information scientists operate under a ‘positivist’ view of concept classification, which, Hjorland maintains, mistakenly strives for universal classification schema while muddling the comprehension of individual researchers. Though he tends to include Wittgenstein in the positivist camp for classification, Hjorland’s domain analysis is strongly Wittgensteinian. This work seeks to support the philosophical underpinnings of domain analysis through Wittgenstein’s theory of language. Additionally, we outline Rick Szostak’s criticism of domain analysis. While he levies an important charge against Hjorland, his solution proves inadequate in light of Wittgenstein’s theory of language.