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Transdisziplinäre Forschung revisited: Erkenntnisinteresse, Forschungsgegenstände, Wissensform und Methodologie

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Drängende Projektaufgaben lassen wenig Raum, sich Zeit zur wissenschaftstheoretischen Analyse der Eigenständigkeit von transdisziplinärer Forschung und ihrer Positionierung in der gegenwärtigen Wissenschaft zu nehmen. Dabei dient eine solche Analyse keinem weltfremden Selbstzweck. Der Beitrag liefert einen zusammenhängenden Analyserahmen.

The ongoing growth of the field of transdisciplinary research primarily takes place in transformative practice when specific challenges and problems arise. Usually there is little space for conceptual and theoretical reflection. This paper offers a comprehensive frame of reference for the epistemological structure of transdisciplinary research. Based on the principle of sustainable development, the discussion focuses on the constitution of its research objects, the need for contextualization in the experimental practice, challenges and possibilities of generalization of the knowledge created and specifics of the methodology to be applied. This paper does not aim to reach a concluding diagnosis of these items, but rather adds to the further debate on the epistemological structure of transdisciplinary research. The authors thereby expect that the practice of transdisciplinarity and its position within the field of science will benefit from theoretical reflection.
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Keywords: contextualisation; epistemology; transdisciplinarity; transfer of knowledge

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2017

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  • GAIA is a peer-reviewed inter- and transdisciplinary journal for scientists and other interested parties concerned with the causes and analyses of environmental and sustainability problems and their solutions.

    Environmental problems cannot be solved by one academic discipline. The complex natures of these problems require cooperation across disciplinary boundaries. Since 1991, GAIA has offered a well-balanced and practice-oriented forum for transdisciplinary research. GAIA offers first-hand information on state of the art environmental research and on current solutions to environmental problems. Well-known editors, advisors, and authors work to ensure the high quality of the contributions found in GAIA and a unique transdisciplinary dialogue – in a comprehensible style.

    GAIA is an ISI-journal, listed in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Science Citation Index and in Current Contents/Social and Behavioral Sciences.

    All contributions undergo a double-blind peer review.

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