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At first he affirmed that ctwhere we have cultural differences, we are also likely to have cultural conflicts)). He explained that he would use exactly the words “cultural con$‘ict” to describe ccthedifficulties, the divergences, and the resulting ‘<turf wars” which provide the symptoms that have drawn the concern of those organising this meeting in the hope offorging some transdisciplinary relief)).

He shared his confidence that, to achieve significant outcomes in transdisciplinarity, it is essential to overcome the structural linguistic boundaries which separate one discipline from another as well as to engage in cross-cultural dialogues.

The interaction among disciplines, he explained, ((does not involve simply an exchange of concepts, a sharing of information, a rustle of eager and enquiring conversation)). This interaction ctoniry takes place within an engagement, and very likely con@Iict, between cultures)).

For one of the most important peculiarities of a cultural form, “any cultural form”, consists in (tits possession of a distinctive language)) and with all that consequently implies in terms of different worldviews, different conceptions on ((the shared and the different, thefamiliar and the alien, the domestic and the exotic>).

Thus, as Prof. McDonell identifies language as the first obstacle to the construction of a unified approach to knowledge, he suggests we turn to philosophy and to the analysis of language in order to compose the differences among disciplines.

Continuing this reflection, Prof. McDonell identifies two main philosophical “camps”

The first camp,

fragmentation

of

often called “‘postmodernism”, knowledge and disciplines in

c<emphasises our world)).

and ceIebrutes the According to Prof.

McDonell, many postmodernists would a modernist and dangerous illusion)).

<<dismissthe

hope

of

integrated

knowledge

as

He puts in the other camp those who ((seek to put in modern terms the Enlightenment hopes of a universal reason, shared, emancipatory knowledge, and moral consensus

on actions.

In this regard, Prof. McDonell explained that this hope ctunderlies the

attitudes of many scientists and technologists towards their work)).

He proceeded to an articulated confrontation

between postmodernist

authors -

enemies of transdisciplinarity

as persuaded by the impossibility of

norms

of

meaning

and

of

constructing

meta-languages

-

and

Jurgen

reaching agreed Habermas who,

with his ‘faith’ in a notion of universal reason and in a morality

conditions programme

and contexts, is considered the recent contributor in the theory of knowledge and social order.

to

beyond a long

cultural research

Prof. McDonell concluded his presentation by stressing the need for mutual dialogue and respectful understanding.

There most

certainly

productive

discourse

are, he among

said, ((urgent needssfor

tolerant

the

great

scientific

disciplines

cooperation and of contemporary

22

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