Transdisciplinarity: two preliminary issues

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • Abstract:

    Any discussion about transdisciplinarity presupposes some sort of recognition of the scientific disciplines and some agreement on how they are or should be grouped or classified. This article supplies a demarcation criterion to distinguish science from nonscience and discusses the way the sciences should be grouped. The first issue can be summarized by the question: (how) can scientific disciplines be distinguished from nonscientific ones? To answer this question it is necessary to sketch what in philosophy of science is called a “demarcation criterion” to distinguish between scientific and nonscientific activities. Secondly, does it make sense to recognise groups of sciences and which disciplines should be placed in each group? Does it make sense to use categories like social, hard, soft, exact, applied sciences and so forth? To answer these questions it is necessary to assess the plausibility of some of the categories traditionally used to classify the sciences. The purpose of the article is to provide an initial (yet philosophically grounded) orientation in an area in which many academics seem to wander, and sometimes to accept simplistic answers