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Sheldon Krimsky Professor Department of Urban & Environmental Policy Tufts University

The first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the term “transdisciplinarity”

is

problem-centered investigations Disciplines provide methods of

in contrast investigation

to “discipline and theoretical

centered investigations”. frameworks that inform

the

methods

of

inquiry.

The

questions

asked

are

based

on

what

has

been

accomplished

in the past (. .).

Transdisciplinarity

suggests that one’s queries and investigations are not bound by

disciplinary norms (. ).

Transdiscilpinarity two disciplines or

also suggests that some at least their methods of

questions are best treated by combining analysis or theoretical frameworks. This

type of transdisciplinarity

occurs throughout

the precursor to or sociobiology

newly formed and hybridized are some examples where two

the scientific disciplines and serves as disciplines. Fields like psycholinguistic disciplines form a hybrid (. ..).

The methods or techniques of one discipline help to pose and answer questions

generally associated with another (. .).

The

process

of

disciplinary

mergers

can

expand

the

evidentiary

base for an

established

research

program

in

one

field.

Some people

might

call

this

interdisciplinarity,

evidence

in

support

namely the partnerships of two disciplines to

of

certain

hypotheses.

Recall

the partnership

expand the theory of of Watson and Crick

form the disciplines of biology and physics that resulted in the discovery helix and eventually spawned the new field of molecular biology. philosophy of science and linguistic philosophy developed (. .).

of the double That’s how

Some people might view the term “transdisciplinarity”

as meaning “outside the

disciplines”.

It would

be quite

difficult

to pose a query that is outside all

disciplines.

Some discipline would claim the ownership of some part of the query. Likewise would be difficult to find a method of measurement or of acquiring information evidence that is outside all disciplines. So if we speak of “transdisciplinarity”

it or as

meaning outside of all disciplines (organized fields of knowledge) great a burden on the term (. ).

it imposes too

The term “transdisciplinarity”

has a certain fluidity. It suggests that one is not bound

by disciplinary canons in any one field. The term There are certain classes of questions that trascend

transcendence is appropriate a single discipline. One such

here. class

of questions about human

pertain to the synthesis of freedom and determinism.

knowledge. For example, what we can This question requires an examination of

say the

recent contributions of many neurophysiology, physics, behavioral

fields of psychology,

knowledge,

including

to name a few

(. .).

genetics,

In this context “transdisciplinarity

is a type of meta-analysis. It seeks unifying themes

from the contributions

of diverse disciplines.

It involves the

construction

of

a

“meta-theory”

from

many

disparate

sources

of

knowledge

(.

.).

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