Original Research

Beyond the academic’s dilemma: Transdisciplinary and existential perspectives of re-enchantment

Rennie Naidoo
The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa | Vol 11, No 2 | a70 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/td.v11i2.70 | © 2015 Rennie Naidoo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 25 February 2016 | Published: 01 November 2015

About the author(s)

Rennie Naidoo, Department of Informatics at the University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa

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Abstract

The purpose of this article is to stimulate debate about the developing paradoxes and dilemmas facing the university academic. This article argues that academics are increasingly being steeped in an inauthentic existence due, at least partly to, egocentrism and sociocentrism. A modest transdisciplinary- existential analytical framework is applied as an intellectual method to reflect on the prevailing monological perspectives stifling the role of academics, in working towards building a more sustainable future. Using concepts such as the subject, facticity and transcendence, the article investigates the dialectical tensions between some of these monological perspectives and proposes avenues to create new possibilities to progress the role of the academic. The article argues that the multilogical perspectives of transdisciplinary thinking and the empowering perspectives of existential thinking can provide academics with the necessary conceptual tools to transcend egocentrism and sociocentrism. While it is likely that new contradictions will emerge as a result of this synthesis, open-minded academics are urged to ignite their imaginative powers and take up the challenge of creating and acting on new possibilities. A transdisciplinary-existential dialectical approach can provide a richer understanding of present dilemmas in academia and the world, and suggest more satisfying paths to a sustainable future.

Keywords

Academic; education; egocentrism; existential philosophy; re- enchantment; sociocentrism; transcendence; transdisciplinary; university

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