Hodges' Model: Welcome to the QUAD: 'Holistic pluralism'

Hodges' model is a conceptual framework to support reflection and critical thinking. Situated, the model can help integrate all disciplines (academic and professional). Amid news items, are posts that illustrate the scope and application of the model. A bibliography and A4 template are provided in the sidebar. Welcome to the QUAD ...

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

'Holistic pluralism'

      INTERPERSONAL    :     SCIENCES               
HUMANISTIC  --------------------------------------  MECHANISTIC      
Rational choice theory

Natural sciences

theoretical & methodological pluralism


Social sciences - Humanities


from Abstract:

"The theoretical and methodological pluralism that we suggest here, holistic pluralism, is one way to overcome incommensurability between the natural and the social sciences while avoiding functionalism, technological and environmental determinism, and over-reliance on rational choice theory." 

from Introduction:

"The fact that sustainability science is “dealing with interconnected problems” (Kauffman and Arico 2014:413) requires that researchers in the field take a comprehensive, integrated, and participatory approach to science and reality (Sala et al. 2013). This explicit ambition to integrate knowledge—across scales, sectors, and substance domains, and across the nature-society, science-society, and knowledge-action divides—implies that sustainability science must inherently live up to (at least) three things. It must build on several foundational disciplines and have the capacity for interdisciplinarity; it must embrace theoretical and methodological pluralism and have the capacity for reflexivity (Isgren et al. 2017); and it must integrate knowledge generated from engaging with different disciplines, theories, methods, and contexts, and thus aspire to transdisciplinarity. Rather than merging or unifying the actual disciplines or their theories and methods into integrated frameworks, we argue that pluralism is the best way forward for dealing with sustainability challenges, such as biodiversity loss, climate change, land use change, water scarcity, and ill health. In this article, we use ontological, epistemological, and theoretical reasoning to support our argument. The critical ambition is to provide the rationale for a new approach that has the potential to capture the best available knowledge on social and natural dimensions of sustainability; we call it social fields and natural systems. The problem-solving ambition is to describe the approach and illustrate it in two empirical examples. If successful, this will show how holistic pluralism is one possible way of integrating knowledge across the social and natural science divide."
Figure 2 Olsson, L., & Jerneck, A. (2018).

It may be useful to consider figure 2, using the domains of Hodges' model?

Note how in Hodges' model, as 'political ecology' seeks to interrogate the relationship between society and nature (the environment, the sciences): we see a diametric relation. Inevitably then, the political ecologist must also negotiate, interpret, seek the policy evidence from within; perhaps an output, a creation of citizens?

Olsson, L., & Jerneck, A. (2018). Social fields and natural systems: integrating knowledge about society and nature. Ecology and Society, 23(3). https://www.jstor.org/stable/26799148