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1.

Attention

widespread disciplines”

- interpretation as disciplinary ‘by was focused on the concept of “knowledge”. of knowledge nature’ - , as “necessarily articulated in was explored. It was agreed that In this view a

in this framework the single disciplines should be seen as constitutive and

taken as “autonomous knowledge.

branches”,

“distinct

bodies” and “departments”

of

Therefore, by conceiving knowledge as structurally disciplinary,

the construction

of

what was exercise,

called a “transdisciplinary

theoretically

interesting,

space” but not

would seemingly necessarily more

become an

intellectual

useful for

addressing

wider and deeper understanding of complex issues,

2.

Similar attention was focused on the concept of “reality”,

by considering, and

mostly recognizing, its intrinsic complexity and its multiform character, while highlighting at the same time its deep unity.

In this perspective, each discipline is not constitutive but just instrumental, as it is useful, at a first instance, to analyse difficult problems under a specific point of view.

Thus,

a

‘YransdiscipIinarity

approach”

becomes

essential

insofar

as

the

main

intellectual aim coincides with a quest for a wider and deeper knowledge compound reality.

of a

The outcome of these preliminary

discussions on the conceptual background

of a

transdisciplinary approach was to recognize a complex and unitary profile of reality,

which consequently calls for a unified approach to knowledge.

to assume a so-called “knowledge-based” p e r s p e c t i v e , a c k n o w l e d g e d t h e r e l e v a n c The debate on whether called “reality-based” perspective or a so- of a more “holistic” e overcome, transform, a “reductionist” transdisciplinary approach disciplinary approach. and to to

A strong agreement was also reached on the idea that disciplines are not able to give an answer or even to isolate many problems whose solution would at once necessitate and provide a better understanding of reality (see $4.2).

Prof. Krimsky (Tufts University, USA) explained in this regard that transdisciplinarity c<suggeststhat some questions are best treated by combining two disciplines, or at least their methods of analysis or theore tical frameworks jj,

He said that this can be better understood by considering the intrinsic transdisciplinary nature of certain classes of questions, as &here are certain classes of questions that transcend a single discipline. One such class of questions pertain to the synthesis of knowledge)).

On this basis, it was also highlighted that many issues of fundamental

our society (e.g., within the specific

“human domain

freedom”, “determinism”, of single disciplines.

etc.)

could

not

importance for even be posed

15

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