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Basic Concepts Classification (Web version 2013)

The purpose of the Basic Concepts Classification is first to identify an extensive and hierarchically organized set of ‘basic concepts’: concepts that can readily be understood across disciplines and cultures. Second, all scholarly works can be classified in terms of combinations of these basic concepts. The Basic Concepts Classification thus provides a basis for a universal non-discipline-based classification. 

There are three broad types of basic concept. Most basic concepts refer to real (or abstract) ‘things’ (phenomena) in the world (or to properties of those things). Yet there are also various relationships among things. Since the bulk of scholarly research -- and much of the general literature as well -- analyses how one or more things influence (or are related in other ways to) one or more other things, it is desirable to classify such works in terms of combinations of basic concepts. An important minority of scholarly works discusses the properties of one or more things or relationships. These adjective/adverbial properties form a third group of basic concepts. These properties can be combined with both things and relationships to more precisely capture the important elements of both types of work. 

The Basic Concepts Classification is first explained and justified under the following headings:

The Basic Concepts Classification is then outlined. [Note that some sections of the BCC are still very much a work in progress]



The Basic Concepts Classification is a work in progress. Comments or suggestions are welcome at rszostak@ualberta.ca. I would be happy to welcome collaborators at this point.