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