n Journal for Christian Scholarship = Tydskrif vir Christelike Wetenskap - The Foundations of Information Systems: Research and Practice, Andrew Basden - book review

Volume 55 Number 3-4
  • ISSN : 1013-1116


What does a dead, white, early-twentieth-century Dutch philosopher have to do with twenty-first-century information systems? Plenty, according to Andrew Basden, Professor of Human Factors and Philosophy in Information Systems at University of Salford, Manchester, UK. He has written this book to show why. The philosopher is Herman Dooyeweerd. Dooyeweerd was the pioneer of a Christian philosophy that has been described as opaque and irrelevant. Basden provides a helpful overview of Dooyeweerd’s, admittedly dense and complex, philosophy — showing that it doesn’t necessarily have to be opaque. He then goes on to apply it to the area of information systems (IS) — showing that it, certainly when it comes to IS, is not irrelevant. Information systems is a very broad academic discipline, it comprises hardware, software and data and includes the design and implementation of computer languages, data models, hardware and software; it is far more than computers, word processing and spreadsheets. It includes data management, data security, data distribution; it is not only the components but also the roles that they play in society. Here Basden focuses on five key ideas: the nature of ICT, its use, features, impact on society and its development.

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