Books that make complex knowledge accessible


Movements Towards Open Learning

I stumbled on a book called “Dictionary of Theories” by Jennifer Bothamley. Bothamley collected over 5,000 cross-disciplinary theories in dictionary format. This is a good example of knowledge that was previously trapped within textbooks and other disciplinary knowledge silos and now this knowledge has been “opened”.

The Oxford Companion to Philosophy, edited by Ted Honderich, not only is the best source of philosophy in book format but it has some great diagrams that map out the relationships between philosophy types.

The Oxford Companion to The Mind. An oldie but goodie (and well overdue for a new edition).

I’m really happy to see that the accessibility of complex subjects like philosophy are being re-packaged in an accessible and entertaining way. For example, I noticed some bookshelves with an interesting genre: “Philosophy and Popular Culture”. This was a series of books looking into the philosophy in such topics as: Basketball, South Park, Hitchcock films, and other places where you would not expect philosophy.

And of course you can’t talk about accessible writing without mentioning the “For Beginners” series by Writers and Readers which features illustrated books on subjects such as philosophy, Jung, Lacan, Freud, Zen, Nietzche…etc.

Margaret J. Wheatley’s book: Leadership and the New Science has 2006 edition. (covers physics, chaos theory, complexity and organizational theory).

Fritjof Capra’s: Web of Life – (covers physics, complexity, biology, cybernetics, and sustainability).

All of these books increase the accessibility of complex knowledge. Consider supporting these publishers and writers.
Daniel Montano
Keyword: Daniel Montano, Dan Montano, user experience design, information architect


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