Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change: Transforming Knowledge and Practice for Our Global Future

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Roy Bhaskar, Cheryl Frank, Jenneth Parker, Karl Georg H°yer
Taylor & Francis, 2010 - Philosophy - 263 pages

Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change is a major new book addressing one of the most challenging questions of our time. Its unique standpoint is based on the recognition that effective and coherent interdisciplinarity is necessary to deal with the issue of climate change, and the multitude of linked phenomena which both constitute and connect to it.

In the opening chapter, Roy Bhaskar makes use of the extensive resources of critical realism to articulate a comprehensive framework for multidisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity and cross-disciplinary understanding, one which duly takes account of ontological as well as epistemological considerations. Many of the subsequent chapters seek to show how this general approach can be used to make intellectual sense of the complex phenomena in and around the issue of climate change, including our response to it.

Among the issues discussed, in a number of graphic and compelling studies, by a range of distinguished contributors, both activists and scholars, are:

  • The dangers of reducing all environmental, energy and climate gas issues to questions of carbon dioxide emissions
  • The problems of integrating natural and social scientific work and the perils of monodisciplinary tunnel vision
  • The consequences of the neglect of issues of consumption in climate policy
  • The desirability of a care-based ethics and of the integration of cultural considerations into climate policy
  • The problem of relating theoretical knowledge to practical action in contemporary democratic societies

Interdisciplinarity and Climate Change is essential reading for all serious students of the fight against climate change, the interactions between governmental bodies, and critical realism.


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Interdisciplinarity and climate change
A research agenda to support action on global warming
3 Seven theses on CO2 reductionism and its interdisciplinary counteraction
4 The dangerous climate of disciplinary tunnel vision
5 Consumption a missing dimension in climate policy
A critical realist perspective
Brokering interdisciplinarity across the physical and social sciences
8 The need for a transdisciplinary understanding of development in a hot and crowded world
The case of the thorium fuel cycle
Critical realism and the need to reinstitutionalize science
12 Towards a dialectics of knowledge and care in the global system
the travelling circus of climate change A conference tourist and his confessions
Further reading
Biographical notes on contributors

9 Knowledge democracy and action in response to climate change

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About the author (2010)

Roy Bhaskar is the originator of the philosophy of critical realism and the author of many acclaimed and influential works, including A Realist Theory of Science, The Possibility of Naturalism, Scientific Realism and Human Emancipation, Reclaiming Reality, Philosophy and the Idea of Freedom, Dialectic: The Pulse of Freedom, Plato Etc, Reflection on Meta-reality and From Science to Emancipation. He is an editor of Critical Realism: Essential Readings and was the founding chair of the Centre for Critical Realism. Currently he is a World Scholar at the University Of London Institute of Education.


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