Tree of knowledge

Tree of Knowledge (1874)
American physical science applied sociologist Henry Carey, one of the founders of the social mechanics school, and his 1858 depiction of the "tree of knowledge", annotated to show a post 1959 "two cultures" perspective, wherein the branch of social science is intentionally shown located in close proximity to the the physical science branch of knowledge, with two-way arrows indicating "exchanges" of ideas talking place, to create a unified branch of social mechanics or social physics, as Carey worked at developing. [3]
In science, tree of knowledge refers to the divisional structuring of the totality of human knowledge into that of the form of a tree whereby knowledge is conceptualized as growing and dividing like the branches of a tree.

In 1296, Ramon Llull published an encyclopedia entitled Tree of Science (Arbor Scientaie), which showed a tree of knowledge: [4]

Tree of knowledge (Lull)

In 1605, English English physicist, natural philosopher, a said to be last person to know everything Francis Bacon, in his Advancement of Learning, stated the following: [1]

“The divisions of knowledge are not like several lines that meet in one angle, but are rather like branches of a tree that meet at one stem.”

In circa 1610, French natural philosopher, physicist, and a said to be greatest mathematician ever Rene Descartes stated the following: [2]

“Thus the whole of philosophy is like a tree: the roots are metaphysics, the trunk is physics, and the branches that issue from the trunk are all the other sciences.”

In 1858, American physical science applied sociologist Henry Carey, in his The Principles of Social Science, in aims to visually situate the location of the branch of "social science", in the tree of knowledge, drew out the tree, as he saw things, shown adjacent, having the following branches and roots. [3]

The following are the branches of the tree of knowledge according to Henry Carey (1858): [3]

Chemical dynamics
Natural philosophy
Physical dynamics

Social science
Political economics



Organology (Biology?)
Vegetable Physiology

(add discussion)

The following are the roots of the tree of knowledge according to Henry Carey (1858): [3]

Animal life
Vegetable life
Mechanical forces
Chemical forces

(add discussion)

Alternative frameworks
Alternative non-tree like frameworks of total knowledge include Auguste Comte's 1842 "everything is physics" point of view (celestial physics, terrestrial physics, organic physics, and human physics) as well as his 1854 "hierarchy of sciences" point of view: morals is the "supreme science", about which paramount is the "theory of our emotion nature", which must be tied into: sociology, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, and lastly mathematics as the "language", in Willard Gibbs famous phrasing, of it all, respectively, in one unified theory (see: reductionism).

1. (a) Bacon, Francis. (1605). The Advancement of Learning (Book 3, Chapter 1). Publisher.
(b) The Advancement of Learning – Wikipedia.
(e) Pearson, Karl. (1892). The Grammar of Science (text) (pg. 508). Adam and Charles Black, 1900.
2. Bresbury, Jack. (2004). “Rooting the Tree of Knowledge: a Response to Henriues’ ‘Psychology Defined’”, Journal of Clinical Psychology, 60(12):1255-58.
3. (a) Carey, Henry C. (1858-59). The Principles of Social Science (Vol I , Vol II, Vol III) (“tree of knowledge” diagram, Vol 1, pgs. 20-21). J.B. Lippincott & Co.
(b) Carey, Henry C. and McKean, Kate. (1874). Manual of Social Science: Being a Condensation of ‘The Principles of Social Science’ of H.C. Carey (“tree of knowledge” diagram, pg. 26). Industrial Publisher.
4. Tree of Science (Ramon Llull) – Wikipedia.

External links
‚óŹ Tree of knowledge – Wikipedia.

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