Original Research

Transdisciplinarity: two preliminary issues

Renato Coletto
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 9, No 1 | a215 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v9i1.215 | © 2013 Renato Coletto | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2016 | Published: 31 July 2013

About the author(s)

Renato Coletto, School of Philosophy, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Full Text:

PDF (778KB)


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 non- science 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 non- scientific 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 non- scientific 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.

Keywords: Demarcation criterion, groups of sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, human sciences, groups of sciences, general sciences, special sciences, transdisciplinarity, 9Theory of) modal aspects, multi-modal sciences

Disciplines: Philosophy, Philosophy of science, (Basically, all sciences are interested)


Demarcation criterion; groups of sciences; natural sciences; social sciences; human sciences; groups of sciences; general sciences; special sciences; transdisciplinarity; (Theory of) modal aspects; multi-modal sciences


Total abstract views: 1822
Total article views: 732

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.