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AIC Seminar Series

THE POETICS OF KNOWLEDGE SHARING: Putting Aristotle to Work in the Enterprise

Stephen W. SmoliarISL Parc

Date:  Monday, July 18th 2005 at 4:00pm

Location:  EJ228  (Directions)


Advances in repository technology have not “solved the problem of knowledge sharing.” The problem does not arise from the “noun-like” properties of “knowledge” but a failure to grasp the “verb-like” qualities of “sharing.” This distinction is related to that between product-centric and process-centric approaches to knowledge management; but the characteristics of a verb-based strategy have origins that precede knowledge management and reach back to the time of Aristotle. Furthermore, they are based not in Aristotle’s investigations of logic but in the principles of his “Poetics.” It is demonstrated how this study provides instructions for making knowledge sharable; and the lessons of those instructions are shown to apply to both work practices and technologies that support those work practices. Keywords: knowledge sharing, imitation, work practices, narrative, Eureka, distributed cognition, learning, innovation, communication, Web-based communities

   Bio for Stephen W. Smoliar

Stephen W. Smoliar obtained his PhD in Applied Mathematics and his BSc in Mathematics from MIT. He has taught Computer Science at both the Technion, in Israel, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has worked on problems involving specification of distributed systems at General Research Corporation and has investigated expert systems development at both Schlumberger and the Information Sciences Institute (University of Southern California). From May of 1991 until August of 1994, he led a project on video classification at the Institute of Systems Science at the National University of Singapore. From August of 1995 until May of 1999, he managed research programs in Multimedia and Communication and Collaboration at the FX Palo Alto Research Laboratory. He then assumed the position of Knowledge Solutions Coordinator, where he remained until May of 2004. He is currently working in the Intelligent Systems Laboratory at PARC.

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