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Why read Aristotle? - the Science of Data Organization --- return to Handouts Page

Bust of Aristotle

Aristotle's Organon

Data organization techniques didn't begin with the computer age. In fact, as described in Business Database Triage, organized data storage didn't even become very practical until well after many businesses had already adopted computers to support their operations. Remember 80 column cards and magnetic tape?

In fact, the science of data categorization and organization was mature enough by 350bce that Aristotle's treatise on this subject, the Organon, is still the most complete and exhaustive coverage of database design ever written. Aristotle, unfortunately, wasn't able to obtain any time on the early mainframes in Athens to explain how to apply these principles to modern relational database design. The Organon is, to be sure, a tough slog, even with an English translation, but once Aristotle's approach ( explained by examples in Business Database Triage ) is grasped, logical solutions to many thorny design issues become apparent.

Not surprisingly, the Organon has been continuously available since the days of Alexander the Great, and can be easily located if you have any interest. The various books of the Organon can be selected from The Works of Aristotle - selected ePubs at the (Australian) University of Adelaide website. The links to the six individual books, which are also available for free download, are given below.

The Organon - University of Adelaide ePub Library (free)

Aristotle's Organon is a rather dense work that is less than suitable for reading at a personal computer. If you don't have an e-Reader for the e-Pubs, an inexpensive printed copy of the full text is available from the following link: Aristotle's Organon ( ISBN-13: 978-1478305620 - English Translation ). The book may also be ordered from most other U.S. and European booksellers.

Why Aristotle? - Database Design Note

View the extended Database Design Note "Why Aristotle?" (pdf).

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