# Difference between classification and prioritization

What is the difference between classification and prioritization in a depth way?

What are the steps requiered in each one?

• We have a set of objects. Firstly we make their classification, secondly their prioritization. What are relation between first method and second? May 15 '16 at 17:23
• Hi, welcome to Philosophy SE. Please visit our Help Center to see what questions we answer and how to ask. Your question appears to be not about philosophy but about dictionary descriptions of terms, which Wikipedia provides for classification and prioritization, among other places. The context of your question is also unclear, and it may be more suitable for programming SE like Stack Overflow. Jun 6 '17 at 2:30

Consider the following set:

``````{a,c,d,f,b,e}
``````

Classification involves splitting up into groups, for example:

``````{a,c,d,f,b,e}  → {{a,c} , {d,b}, {f,e}}
``````

Note that here the order of the elements doesn't matter, so that

``````{a,c,d,f,b,e}  → {{a,c} , {d,b}, {f,e}}
and
{a,c,d,f,b,e}  → {{b,d} , {c,a}, {f,e}}
``````

Are the same operation from a classification point of view.

However prioritization involves a notion of order, so that

``````{a,c,d,f,b,e}  → {a,b,c,d,e,f}
and
{a,c,d,f,b,e}  → {f,e,d,c,b,a}
``````

Are not the same operation. From a mathematical and combinatorics point of view, we have imposed an order relation on the set which isn't necessary for classification.

Underlying the concept of prioritizing things or assign values to propositions and objects is this notion of order relation.

Consider the questions: (a) "What is the exact percentage of iron ore on Mars?", (b) "Is there liquid water on Mars?", (c) "Is there intelligent life on Mars?"

From a neutral point of view (say the point of view of a computer) these three questions are equivalent. From a human point of view, most would agree that (a) is a boring scientific question that interests only a small number of planetologists, while (c) is an existential question whose answer would seriously impact the way humanity views itself. And so to say that one question is more important or takes priority, or has more value, than the other question, is to impose at least a partial order on the set of questions:

``````{a,b,c} → c > a
``````

Classification discerns − prioritization focalizes

If we have to do with an extended number of different individuals, between which exist, of course, analogies and distinctions, we begin quite naturally to classify them on this basis. Classification does unintentionally take into account all possible points of analogies and distinctions. There are no special steps needed, it occurs quite naturally to our mind and may, for instance, be developed gradually into a tree structure.

Prioritization is focusing, with some intent, on only some aspects of a sphere of somehow related objects,°) just by excluding the rest. This exclusion may be motivated by limited time or resources to consider the whole pallet of objects/individuals. There are no special steps necessary, but only the decision to censor a part of the pallet and maybe the communication that a part has been blanked out.

Footnote:

°) … which may, but must not, be a classification.

• You mean "footnotes"? Jun 5 '17 at 18:08
• @Eliran H: Yes, sometimes I fail not to think in German. Why did you wait editing it?
– user26880
Jun 5 '17 at 18:21