Classifying All Human Knowledge

When I first created this site, I wanted to create a category structure that would enable me to classify any post I might publish.  It seemed to be a logical step given the name of the website.  I don’t recall how long it took me, but I spent some time looking through various ways of classifying knowledge and eventually came up with a version that suited my interests and seemed to make sense to me. I had fifteen broad categories when I was finished.

Recently, I was thinking about how I could combine some of these to fit into a system similar to the Dewey Decimal Classification.  My structure is slightly different, but in many ways it mirrors the DDC.  Here’s what I settled on (the numbers are just to give it that DDC feel):

000 – Religion & Philosophy
100 – Language
200 – Mathematics
300 – Natural Sciences & Medical Science
400 – Technology & Applied Sciences
500 – Geography
600 – History
700 – Psychology & Social Sciences
800 – Arts & Literature
900 – Recreation & Miscellany

Below is a summary of what each of these broad categories would include.

Religion & Philosophy

Major Religions
Mythology
Comparative Religion
Aesthetics
Epistemology
Ethics
Logic
Metaphysics

Language

Major Languages (English, Chinese, Spanish, etc.)
Linguistics

Mathematics

Arithmetic
Algebra
Calculus
Geometry
Probability & Statistics
Trigonometry

Natural Sciences & Medical Science

Astronomy
Biology
Chemistry
Earth Sciences (Geology, Oceanography, etc.)
Physics
Anatomy
Physiology
Personal Health
Pharmacology
Therapeutics
Diseases
Surgery

Technology & Applied Sciences

Computer Science
Engineering
Materials Science
Building
Agriculture
Horticulture
Commerce & Business
Home Economics
Manufacturing
Craftsmanship
Landscaping

Geography

Ancient World
Europe
Asia
Africa
North America
South America

History

same as above plus Biography

Psychology & Social Sciences

All the various sub-areas of Psychology
Political Science
Economics
Law
Education
Sociology
Anthropology
Archaeology
Communication

Arts & Literature

Architecture
Dance
Drawing
Painting
Printing
Graphic Art
Photography
Sculpture
Music
Film
Theatre
Poetry
Drama
Fiction
Essays
Speeches
Letters
Satire
Humor

Recreation & Miscellany

Games
Sports
…and everything else!

What do you think?  If you were going to classify all areas of human knowledge, how would you do it?

3 thoughts on “Classifying All Human Knowledge

  • cansu y.

    I think thats a nice list, but i cant say i wholly agree. I wouldnt put religion and philosophy together. Plus i am not sure about the meaning of art or what counts as art. So i’d have doubts about that too. I’d classify the sciences as fundamental vs applied. Fundemental ones would be further divided into formal, natural and social sciences. Applied ones would involve all engineering, technology etc. Humanities& Arts would probably be my third big area involving philosophy, history, music, literature etc. Though i must say that i think rather than classifying we should really focus on how the dividing lines are way too blurry and its perhaps a wiser approach to see them all interdependent and transitional.

  • Hi there m8!

    Very nice list! It of course reflect, as you had said, the interests that are closer to your covered amplitude of focus.

    You helped me find Dewey list. This is fantastic!

    I am curious what you are trying with this website? We may have something in common. Hit me on FB Garry Garsky

    • Paul Williams

      Unfortunately I haven’t done much with the site. The idea was to share what I’m learning but I haven’t found the time to blog much.

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