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The Integrative Style




This is a description of the editing style, used in the "theoretical" pages on this website. This style tries to be a practical implementation of the method of "integration".

Integration is a way of thinking and communication that, in the presence of apparently incompatible, conflicting or unrelated data, tries to make a productive, creative synthesis of the divergent elements, rather than searching which hypothesis is "true" and which one is "false".

This definition refers to conceptual integration There is also a factual integration, where an integration process is performed without preceding conceptual integration.

Traditional scientific method presupposes that, in the presence of several uncompatible hypotheses, only one -if one- can be "true". Theories, conflicting with the "true" one, are obligatorily "false". This along the ancestral aristotelic and cartesian rules that assertions are either true or false, and that an assertion, conflicting with a true one, is necessarily false.

On the contrary, the integrative paradigm presupposes that, most probably, conflicting assertions are largely true, and that the apparent incompatibility of conflicting concepts is rather due to an "eduction" (i.e. an exaggerated generalization or concretization), but that the "kernel" (the "essence") most probably is true.

Scientific work rather has to try to resolve these apparent imcompatibilities, than to exclude one assertion at the detriment of the other assertion(s). Once the eduction is "retroduced", an integrative insight emerges, enabling the synthesis of the true parts of the formerly contradictory assertions.


The integrative paradigm, style or method has several invaluable advantages:

1. valuable contributions don't disappear just because they are conflicting with traditional concepts.

2. progress is no longer made by discarding "old values", but by improving them.

3. the scientific probability of an integrative assertion is at least as reliable as the scientifically most reliable assertion supporting it. So the claim that integrative theories are, scientifically speaking, less reliable than exact scientific theories is ... false. This is because in the process of integration reliability and exactness can only increase, never decrease.

4. the integrative method enables us to produce scientific exactness and reliability in fields wher one cannot make exact observations, calculations or experiments. It doesn't replace exact science, it complements it.

5. the fact that a theory was developed using the integration paradigm is on itself a guarantee that high reliability is attained. Integrative science is the highest reliable form of science.

6. progressivily, one integrative body of knowledge will be developed, replacing the actual often myriads of incompatible theories. Referring to this coherent, integrated body of knowledge, or replacing a part of it by a better integration, is one of the most substantial arguments to "prove" the plausibility of an assertion.

7. contributors are no longer discouraged because they didn't find the "truth", but will have nearly always the experience of cooperating to something grandiose.


At any moment the text of a page is an integration of all contributions done so far on this topic. At regular intervals, the introduced comments will be integrated with the existing text, that will be edited accordingly. 

Contributions may take any form, including: 

1. suggestions for little corrections (typing errors, grammatical errors, etc.)

2. new examples, quotations and applications of the presented theorems - they will be included nearly literally

3. suggestions for new factors to be taken into consideration. One may refer to apparent exceptions to be explained, questions, etc. The editor(s) of the text will try to elaborate better theorems, in order to explain the divergent applications. The new text first will be submitted to the author of the comment, to enable him/her to judge if the contributed ideas are really integrated.

4. suggestions for better theorems, with or without examples, applications, etc. When the editor can accept this, i.e. when the view is becoming more complete, without losing any of the former elements, the suggestions will replace the existing text. When the editor (or the readers) feel that perhaps some values of the former formulation could be lost by the new formulation, both will be shown. Further comments and suggestions will be expected, resolving this problem. Anyway, the former text will be kept available during a certain period, and viewed by clicking on the adequate link.

5. some suggestions may point to more fundamental aspects of the text: the structure, from local to the whole website. This will lead to structural changes.

6. not only explicit contributions will be taken into account. The editor may take data from other sites and pages. Of course, references will be made to the original source and URL. But because it is, at this moment, very difficult with HTML to make a link to a certain location or part of another website, some important web pages may be mirrored, of course provided with a link to the original page. The author(s) of the external page(s) will be invited to participate actively.

When at some point in the future HTML might be extended with better referencing tools, this external referencing might be simplified.

7. the date of (important) changes will be indicated. We hope one day HTML will be extended with automatic routines to visualize all modifications made after a certain moment.

This method will be refined from our experience in the future. All suggestions concerning the method are welcome.

Est. 11/01 - Latest Update 17/2/02