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Knowledge for Action

Sources of Knowledge

A useful corpus of knowledge about what is quintessentially human in endeavour does not come about by chance. It requires unremitting scrutiny and involvement of inquirers with that particular end solely in mind. In practice, several different systems of knowledge generation claim to assist action and effectiveness, while often minimizing conflicts of interest.

ClosedConventional academic disciplines

ClosedNew inter-disciplines

ClosedMulti-disciplinary institutes

ClosedTheme-based studies

ClosedMulti-perspective inquiries

ClosedTransdisciplinary inquiry

ClosedNow see the matrix systematically comparing these 6 approaches ►

Transdisciplinary Studies

Transdisciplinary inquiry does not and cannot substitute for any of the other approaches, each of which has a valid rationale.

ClosedDistinguish the 3 Types of Education/Knowledge:

Knowledge that directly helps people design and achieve effectively must focus on a person's experiences when fully committed and doing his or her best. Inquiry is forced to consider categories of willed action across all social settings and cultures. To remind you, such categories include:Closed deciding, inquiring, communicating, changing, cooperating, intending, structuring, relating, valuing, performing, knowing, predicting, clarifying, benefiting, evaluating, controlling, dedicating, liberating, and many more.

Transdisciplinary study seeks to genuinely integrate and connect whatever may be relevant to any of these categories. By contrast, no social science claims, or should claim, exclusive responsibility for any volitional category.

ClosedExample: Valuing & Values


Taxonomic frameworks emerging from transdisciplinary inquiry reflect life experiences.

Remember our scope: Any personal-social state, process or institution which is in some way willed or is a manifestation of deliberate effort or will; and excluding all that is reflex, automatic, unthinking, a side-effect, purely biological or non-human.

Our «unit of study» can be extremely varied—families, organizations, government &c.—and knowledge from conventional research often assists by contributing details or useful perspectives.

Originally posted: August 2009; Last updated: 2-Feb-2014.

All posted material is part of a scientific project and should be regarded as provisional. Visitors are encouraged to think through the topics and propositions for themselves. Copyright © Warren Kinston 2009-2016.
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