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Information Studies
Year : 2010, Volume : 16, Issue : 3
First page : ( 133) Last page : ( 148)
Print ISSN : 0971-6726.

S.R. Rangnathan's Pmest Categories: Analyzing Their Philosophical Background and Cognitive Function*

Mazzocchi Fulvio1, Gnoli Claudio2

1CNR- Institute for Complex Systems, E-mail: mazzocchi@iia.cnr.it.

2University of Pavia, Department of Mathematics, Email: gnoli@aib.it.

*Revised version of Mazzocchi, Fulvio and Gnoli, Claudio (2006). Il Vaisesika e le categorie di Ranganathan. AIDA Informazioni, 24(3–4); p. 17–28


In this paper a comparison is made between the Vaisesika categorial system and the subject architecture given by S. R. Ranganathan (SRR), namely, PMEST (Personality. Matter, Energy, Space, Time). Advances the thesis that Indian classificatory thinking is based on this cultural and philosophical background; and that SRR'a theories themselves have been greatly influenced by this tradition. There are strict analogies between PMEST and Vaisesika categorial structure that are worth investigating more thoroughly. Our idea is to provide an additional stance for interpreting SRR's thought within the tradition of his own country. Some considerations about the role of categories both as foundation of the knowledge structure of a certain culture and as possible signs of a deeper biological and cognitive dimension of the human being are also made.


Key words

Subject structure, Categories, PMEST, Vaisesika categorial system.


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