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3.5 -

Transdisciplinarity,

against

the disciplines?

During the Symposium, it was pointed out that, despite its great importance for major

world problems of our time, the concept of scepticism and encounters some resistance in

transdisciplinarity the field of social

is still viewed with analysis and certain

other sciences (natural and exact), affecting thinking.

its acceptance as a fruitful

way of

This resistance is often due to the suspicion that transdisciplinarity disciplinary approach to knowledge and aim at supplanting it.

could threaten a

In this respect, it was made clear that there is no opposition, but rather intrinsic and necessary complementarity, between a disciplinary and a transdisciplinary approach to

knowledge.

To picture this relationship

, Prof. M. Sommerville and Prof. D. Rapport evoked a

“spatial dynamics of transdisciplinarity”.

The two conveners used the

of “intellectual by the various

innerspace” disciplines in

and “intellectual connection with

outerspace” to denote transdisciplinarity.

the

paired images area occupied

As Prof. Somerville specifically pointed out,

((Transdisciplinarity

may even be described as

outerspace “.

But to have

requires that

there would

an “outerspace” be an “innerspace

“intellectual necessarily “, and this

.rnnerspace

”i

s p r o v i d e d

by the disciplines.

This means

that we need to allow for the development of the disciplines,

including

the

possibility

of

new

disciplines,

without

inhibiting the development of within which transdisciplinarity

the intellectual takes place.

“outerspace ” FVhatwe are

seeking rigidity;

to do is to give to create an

this “outerspace environment for

” structure, without

the

integration

of

knowledge

which

is

intellectually

credible

and

which

would

open up otherwise

the possibility

of gaining

be unlikely

to emerge

(...)M

.

insights that would

Consequently, reflecting perspective, but rather conceptual framework.

on transdisciplinarity

does not mean rejecting a disciplinary

enhancing

the

understanding

of

reality

by

means

of

a

new

It is thus of vital importance to articulate and systematize as much as possible methods and principles to begin framing a conceptual space where, through creative and imaginative interaction, it will be possible to explore integrative methodologies for the production of integrated knowledge.

17

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