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Model Based Systems Engineering: Fundamentals and Methods by Patrice Micouin

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3

Knowledge Systems

3.1. Introduction

In this chapter, systems of knowledge are introduced as a second pillar of systems engineering. In the previous chapter, we characterized technological systems as artificial systems with two essential traits: (1) they are developed and operated to provide services to persons (this is their purpose) and (2) they are designed and produced using the scientific and technological knowledge needed to ensure that this goal will be achieved. Thus, systems of scientific and technological knowledge form one of the key levers which allow engineers to carry out their task of developing technological systems that meet defined goals. Systems of knowledge are therefore the central part of technological systems engineering. This is why we will define, in the following, what we understand by scientific and technological systems of knowledge, and how this knowledge is integrated into the process of systems engineering.

3.2. Knowledge and its bearers

We assert that knowledge does not exist separately, nor does motion1. What exists are individuals who have knowledge, just as there are bodies in motion. This will be our initial assumption. In other words, in this chapter and throughout this book, knowledge does not refer to any world of ideas, such as the one attributed to Plato by a long philosophical tradition or even the one proposed by K. Popper who, in [POP 72], postulates the existence of a third world, i.e. that of objective knowledge, along with physicochemical ...

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