John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Transdisciplinarity… undisciplined knowledge? Volume 22, issue 1, January-February 2023

CEARC, OVSQ, Université Paris-Saclay 11, boulevard d’Alembert 78280 Guyancourt France <>
* Tirés à part : Y. Remvikos

Rather than producing a historical account of the specialisation of knowledge, in this paper I raise the question of its unity, in the face of more and more complex challenges to which humanity, but also living beings as a whole, are confronted. Transdisciplinarity, first mentioned in 1970, was advanced as: 1) the means to overcome the consequences of dualistic worldviews (for instance the separation between subject and object) as well as the dispersion of specialised knowledge (an epistemological dimension); 2) disposing of an approach for the resolution of wicked problems (a methodological dimension); 3) an ethical dimension, that arises if transgression of disciplinary boundaries and inclusion of other types of knowledge are issues for transdisciplinarity , which I shall illustrate through the example of transdisciplinary interviews. Thus, a question emerges: is science only accountable to itself, or are there responsibilities to society as a whole?