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Proceedings of the XXII World Congress of Philosophy

Volume 53, 2008

Theory of Knowledge

Miguel Ángel Briceño Gil
Pages 15-33

Polycontextural Transdisciplinarity

A couple of decades ago natural phenomena began to be approached from a comprehensive and transdisciplinary point of view, as it was understood that living beings and their environments are not linear but complex. There is no doubt that this perspective of visualizing complexity and working inter-and transdisciplinarily has to be applied. The reflection on the theoretical observation (i.e. meta-observation) involved in the concept of poly-contexturality is the framework in which a theory of complex systems is possible, which in turn enables an observation that oscillates (a concept of chaos theory) between models structured in a hierarchical order (normally linked to a logical-deductive formalization) and models structured in hetero‐hierarchy. And this would allow this reflection to be done in a formalized language that does not follow either the principles of the Aristotelian logic or the postulates of the Kantian transcendental reflection. It is precisely this liberation from the dictates of mono-contextural logic what paves the way to an observation of complexity, in which one or the other language is used to model the states of things, such as the epistemological problems of molecular biology or the social systems. And-what is gaining relevance-it also paves the way to a true transdisciplinary meta-observation, since each discipline chooses its own contexture and only the use of poly-contexturality makes it possible to formulate transdisciplinary relationships within the framework of such meta-logic.