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The interdisciplinary decision problem: Popperian optimism and Kuhnian pessimism in forestry

Johannes Persson, Department of Philosophy, Lund University, Sweden
Henrik Thorén, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science, Helsinki University; Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, LUCSUS, Lund University
Lennart Olsson, Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies, LUCSUS, Lund University


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Interdisciplinary research in the fields of forestry and sustainability studies often encounters seemingly incompatible ontological assumptions deriving from natural and social sciences. The perceived incompatibilities might emerge from the epistemological and ontological claims of the theories or models directly employed in the interdisciplinary collaboration, or they might be created by other epistemological and ontological assumptions that these interdisciplinary researchers find no reason to question. In this paper we discuss the benefits and risks of two possible approaches, Popperian optimism and Kuhnian pessimism, to interdisciplinary knowledge integration where epistemological and ontological differences between the sciences involved can be expected.

Key words

forestry; interdisciplinary integration; ontology; philosophy of interdisciplinarity; silviculture; sustainability

Copyright © 2018 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work for noncommercial purposes provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087