A special issue on philosophy and epistemology : a Peter Pan syndrome?
Boland, Dick; Monod, Emmanuel (2007), A special issue on philosophy and epistemology : a Peter Pan syndrome?, Information Systems Journal, 17, 2, p. 133-141
TypeArticle accepté pour publication ou publié
Journal nameInformation Systems Journal
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Abstract (EN)This special issue of Information Systems Journal (ISJ) is devoted to questions of the philosophy and epistemology of information systems (IS) research. Epistemology is the discipline of questioning the truth claims of science : how and what can we know, and how do the knowledge claims of science relate to our broader society? The term ‘philosophy’ means that the level of questioning is not about a particular research method or technique, but includes a selfreflective questioning across other realms of enquiry, ranging from ethics to aesthetics, and locating our ideas and methods in important trends in the history of philosophy of science. We are pleased that ISJ is the first journal in IS to publish a special issue on such ambitious topics. Since its beginning, ISJ has been open to a wide variety of research methods, especially qualitative ones, and a wide variety of approaches, like interpretivism and critical social theory, that did not always find a home in other journals. ISJ has also been open to quantitative methods and positivist approaches, showing an impressive commitment to pluralism. We see this special issue as one more way that ISJ serves to link the technical dimensions of IS to organizational and management issues, including their social and intellectual context. Our goals for this special issue, as stated in the Call for Papers, were: 1 to discuss if the theories used in the IS field were specific to our field or not; 2 to illustrate the applicative nature of our field, by challenging the classical empiricist view and idea of design; 3 to explore the extent that our object of research, i.e. the IS, exists independently of our observation of it; and 4 to question the definition of science, especially the taken-for-granted ideas of ‘falsification’ and ‘paradigms’, through a comparison with other academic fields. We received 18 submissions for this special issue. Of those, four were selected by the review process and are included here. Of the four accepted papers, two responded to the question on theories (Silva, Butler and Murphy), one to the applicative nature of our field (Hassell), and one to the object of research (Niehaves). But we had no papers that dared to question the definition of science through a comparison with other academic disciplines. We will elaborate on this point in the last part of the editorial, where we will ask if an academic field that has such limited comparative thinking reveals a ‘Peter Pan syndrome’ by failing to grow up.
Subjects / KeywordsConnaissances; Knowledge; Systèmes d'information; Information Systems Research
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