Knowledge Management (KM) is one of the hottest Internet challenges influencing the design and the architecture of the infrastructures that will be accessed by the future generation. In this paper, we bridge KM to philosophical theories to quest a theoretical foundation for the discussion, today utterly exciting, about Web's semantics. The man has always tried to organise the knowledge he gained, using lists, encyclopaedias, libraries, etc., in order to make the consultation and the finding of information easier. Nowadays it is possible to get information from the Web, digital archives and databases, but the actual problem is linked to its interpretation, which is now possible only by human beings. The act of interpreting is peculiar for men, not for machines. At the moment there are lots of available digital tools which are presented as KM technologies, but languages often do not discern meanings. We shall investigate the meaning of "knowledge" in the digital world, sustaining it with references to the Philosophy of Information and epistemology. After having provided a definition of "knowledge", suitable for the digital environment, it has been extended to "collective knowledge", a very common concept in the area of global information, proper to the current process of knowledge production and management. The definition is verified testing if a well-known growing phenomenon like Wikipedia can be truly regarded as a knowledge management system.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.