The death of the document creator

In INM301 this week, we talked about defining a document. This is a fundamental philosophical question when investigating the information communication chain, and it’s not a question with an easy answer. My notes include a dutiful transcription of five ‘requirements’ for a document:

  • indexicality: the ‘aboutness’ of the document
  • complementarity: generally speaking, the document’s ‘connotation’
  • fixity: the stability of the document
  • documentality: the ‘social function’ of the document
  • productivity: the ability of the document to give rise to new documents

This is a simplistic recap of the lecture content, and helpfully, the Document Academy has a longer, more authoritative explanation on its website. Reading that page, for instance, clarifies that there is a more complex framework behind the notion of complementarity than mere connotation.

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