Encyclopedia as a Directory of Associations

Every science overlaps with others: they are two continuous branches off a single trunk. He who composes an opus does not enter abruptly into his subject, does not close himself strictly within it, does not leave it abruptly: he is obliged to anticipate terrain adjoining his; its consequences often take him onto another contiguous terrain on the opposite side; and how many other excursions are necessary in the body of the work? What is the purpose of the forewords, introductions, prefaces, exordia, episodes, digressions, and conclusions? If we separated scrupulously from a book what is outside the subject it treats, we would almost always reduce it to a quarter of its volume. What does the encyclopedic linkage do? Just that harsh division. It sets the limits of a subject so firmly that there remains in an article only what is essential. A single new idea generates volumes under the pen of a writer; those volumes reduce to a few lines under the pen of an encyclopedist. We are subjected unawares to what is strictest and most precise in the geometricians' method. We progress rapidly. One page always presents something different from the preceding or subsequent page. The need of a proposition, a fact, an aphorism, a phenomenon, a system, requires no more than a single citation in an encyclopedia , just as in geometry. The geometrician refers from one theorem or problem to another, and the encyclopedist from one article to another. And so it is that two types of opus, which seem so very different in nature, come by the same means to create a most dense, tightly knit, and continuous whole. What I say is so precisely true that the method by which mathematics is treated in our dictionary is the same followed for other topics. From this point of view there is no difference between an article on algebra and an article on theology.

Thanks to encyclopedic ordering, the universality of knowledge, and the frequency of references, the connections grow, the links go out in all directions, the demonstrative power is increased, the word list is complemented, fields of knowledge are drawn closer together and strengthened; we perceive either the continuity or the gaps in our system, its weak sides, its strong points, and at a glance on which objects it is important to work for one's own glory, or for the greater utility to humankind. If our dictionary is good, how many still better works it will produce.


Folksonomies: information encyclopedia associations

/business and industrial/company/annual report (0.576775)
/science (0.576324)
/science/social science/history (0.544343)

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Directory of Associations:PrintMedia (0.753980 (neutral:0.000000)), writer:JobTitle (0.661620 (neutral:0.000000))

Encyclopedia (0.918185): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
Encyclopedic dictionary (0.887380): dbpedia | freebase | yago
Encyclopædia Britannica (0.785231): website | dbpedia | freebase | opencyc | yago
Greek loanwords (0.758690): dbpedia
Object (0.756161): dbpedia | freebase

Periodicals>Journal Article:  Diderot, Denis (1755), Encyclopédie, Encyclopédie ou dictionnaire des sciences, des arts et des métiers, par une société‚ de gens de lettres , Retrieved on 2017-05-17
Folksonomies: information information overload