The Unifying Aspects of Cultures


The Unifying Method of the Humanities, Social Sciences and Natural Sciences: The Method of Transdisciplinarity

Paul Ghils (The Editor - Transnational Associations, Belgium)
International Relations and its Languages: A Transdisciplinary Perspective

A critical understanding of IR as a discipline highlights the conceptual needs of a new world situation, as well as the inadequacies of our conceptual and terminological tools to represent this world. Against this background, the transdisciplinary approach is an attempt to not only to express new realities, but also to fashion new realities through renewed interpretations. It is confronted with the twin obstacle of a rational ordering of academic disciplines and the fragmentation of knowledge resulting from an excessive specialization and the associated lack of communication among them. The uncritical deployment of a rational, universalistic ordering of the world and the indulging into an anarchical drift implicitly driven by power games both require a critical method. As a fundamental response to the problem involved in the building and the expression of knowledge, the transdisciplinary method is designed as a "reasonable", albeit potential tool, to integrate the fragmented bodies of knowledge and the erratic modes of communication. It departs from an exclusively rational way, on which scientific disciplines and enquiry have been largely based for the last four centuries.