Practical problem solving in complex, human dominated ecosystems requires the integration of three elements: (1) active and ongoing envisioning of both how the world works and how we would like the world to be; (2) systematic analysis appropriate to and consistent with the vision; and (3) implementation appropriate to the vision. Scientists generally focus on only the second of these steps, but integrating all three is essential to both good science and effective management. ‘Subjective’ values enter in the ‘vision’ element, both in terms of the formation of broad social goals and in the creation of a ‘pre-analytic vision’ which necessarily precedes any form of analysis. Because of this need for vision, completely ‘objective’ analysis is impossible. In the words of Joseph Schumpeter (1954, p. 41):In practice we all start our own research from the work of our predecessors, that is, we hardly ever start from scratch. But suppose we did start from scratch, what are the steps we should have to take? Obviously, in order to be able to posit to ourselves any problems at all, we should first have to visualize a distinct set of coherent phenomena as a worthwhile object of our analytic effort. In other words, analytic effort is of necessity preceded by a preanalytic cognitive act that supplies the raw material for the analytic effort. In this book, this preanalytic cognitive act will be called Vision. It is interesting to note that vision of this kind not only must precede historically the emergence of analytic effort in any field, but also may reenter the history of every established science each time somebody teaches us to see things in a light of which the source is not to be found in the facts, methods, and results of the preexisting state of the science.
|Title of host publication
|Interdisciplinarity and Climate change: Transforming knowledge and practice for our global future
|Bhaskar R., Frank C., Hoyer K.G., Naess P., Parker J.
|Place of Publication
|Abingdon and New York
|Routledge Taylor & Francis Group
|Published - 2010