**Science** is a method to acquire reliable certitude about the statements, inductions
and deductions we make while thinking about reality. Concerning the "methodology",
there are, generally speaking, two ways of applying science: the *exact* method, and the *plausibility* method.

**1.
The exact method, Exact Science (ES)**

Before Renaissance,
people made spontaneous associations, based upon vague intuitions. The
intuitions of "sages" and "philosophers" were considered as more reliable,
and influenced, by their authority, the concepts of other people.

During the Renaissance
the "**exact**" method was progressively developed. Hypotheses were
only accepted as reliable if they reposed upon exact measures, and were
controlled by measurable deductions. This happened during the Reanaissance,
because measuring tools became progressively available, and the general
cultural attitude became more non-authoritarian. The exactness of the "science"
proved less reliable than hoped for at the beginning: even Newton's mechanics,
the symbol *par excellence* of exact science, had to be corrected
by Einstein.

In fact, from a science
psychology standpoint, what happened during Renaissance? Probably several
psychological and social factors coincided, but two seem to be paramount:

1. the availbaility
of new observational tools, from microscope (Robert
Hooke, Antony
van Leeuwenhoek) to telescopes.

2. a non-authoritarian
attitude towards knowledge in general. The psychological aspect of the
Renaissance is perhaps best described as a kind of social puberty, rejecting
all kinds of moral authority. The anatomical discoveries by Vesalius , refuting one millenary of Galenic medical dogmas, were just done with
the naked eye. The only thing that was needed was the attitude.

These tools yielded
an impressive amount of hitherto unknown data, changing completely the
view of reality and falsifying many traditional theories. Furthermore,
the increasing number of discoveries elicited a kind of virtual circle,
enhancing the attitude --and multiplying the discoveries.

But the exact method
has, besides its innumerable advantages, two important limitations:

- It is, in fact,
not a tool for developping science, but a tool for controlling the hypotheses,
once formulated. These hypotheses are still formulated on an intuitive
basis.

- It is limited
to domains where measures can be made. There are, of course, a certain
number of fields where we can expect that measuring tools will be developped
in the near future. So we could wait. But very important domains, including
psychology, politics, philosophy, ethics, religion, (and, paradoxically,
the fundamental structure of matter and cosmos) just can't wait, and measuring
tools are not yet in sight.

**2.
The integrative method, Integrative Science (IS)**

Although the supporters
of the exact scientific (ES) method claim that it is a pity but we have
no other choice than to wait, because those domains still remain in the
field of myths and confabulations, during the 20th centrury another method
of scientific thinking was progressively developped, without having a name
in the beginning. Teilhard and Whitehead were its first brilliant students,
and Capra perhaps the first theorist. This method is called with several
names, not always covering exactly the same approach, including holistic,
postmodern, non-dual. The "**plausibility** method" seems to me perhaps
the most appropriate.

This method starts
with a definition of the notion of **integration**. This procedure is
described
in detail on another page. This notion presupposes that every
intuitive hypothesis that seems to be confirmed during a certain period,
most probably contains at least a part of truth, or --formulated the other
way-- the probability that it should be partially right, at least in certain
circumstances, is greater than then probability that it should be complete
wrong or unreliable. This implies that conceptual conflicts not have to
be interpreted as an indication that one hypothesis is "right", all the
other being "wrong", but rather that the formulation of the hypothesis
probably is inexact to a certain degree. The inexactness most probably
is due to a unprecise connection between cause and effect. If it are theories,
we call this **over-generalization**, if it are projects, we call this
**over-concretization,
**which
means that the person thinks that there is only one possibility to achieve
his goal.

*This
problem is not typical for the plausibility method. The error Newton made
was in fact exactly the same: he supposed that there were no other possibilities
than the wide range of observations with speed he made. In his days high
speeds and microscopic objects were unobservable. So his formulas were
only true within a limited range of applications: only with relatively
big objects moving at relatively low speed.*

In fact, the fundamental
thing the exact scientific method contributed to the reliability of human
knowledge, was *one* method to limit the margin of inaccuracy. Not
the impressive mathematics are the contribution of the renaissancistic
scientific revolution: they existed already, to a large extent, in ancient
times, enabling the exploits of Pythagoras, Euclid and Archimedes. Nor
was it a better kind of induction: even Einstein had to develop his theorems
by intuition. Mathematics and the other methods of exact deduction are
no guarantee for the reliability of science: even with the most exact mathematical
methods, conclusions derived from Newton's laws are highly inexact, as
soon as they are applied on other objects and speeds than those observable
in Newton's days. In fact, modern science is just a way to control hypotheses,
not to develop them. The development is still intuitive, but now within
narrowed limits. The integrative method is just another method for narrowing
those limits, but this time applicable within inexact and immeasurable
domains --as long as they remain so. **Some
Characteristics of Integrative Science (IS)**

Integrative, post-modern
science seems to be different form exact, modern science on several aspects.
But a closer look often will reveal that those differences are not that
fundamental as seemed to be at first glance. Most of the criticisms on
integrative science are based upon a caricature or one-sided description
of IS. Several criticism probably are generated by the fact that most "scientists"
are in fact not creative at all: they just work in the safe field between
"proved" hypothesis and application. They seldom leave the field of deduction,
whereas scientific progress always implies inductive working. Moreover,
the greatest scientific thinkers weren't those with the most impressive
diploma, and many a creative thinker was rebutted by academic authorities.

The rules of IS are,
in fact, very strict and demanding, often more demanding than for ES. Moreover,
they will, if applied on a larger scale, probably totally change our scientific
and academic structures and publications. Integration is neither the same
as synthesis, compromise, consensus, nor is it simple intuition, or a kind
of greatest common divisor.

**1.
Back to intuition?**

A first criticsm
is that by rejecting the benifits of ES, one goes back to the intuition
paradigm of the dark Middle Ages. Intuition, often authenticated by the
authority of philosophical Wisdom and Divine revelation, couldn't prevent
aberrations as those exposed by Vesalius and Copernicus.

This approach is
deceiving. Modern science only provided a controlling tool --exact observation
and controlled experiment. Intuition --the core of hypothesis development--
was never replaced by something else. But, confronted with exact data,
the margin for intuition was much more restricted.

Thus, IS is not refuting
ES, it just adds something. ES has to be continued as before. But for the
great number of domains, hitherto inaccessible for science, another controller
of intuition is provided: integration. Rather than advocating a return
to free intuition, ES is offering a technique for scientific progress on
those most important fields of life --from psychology to politics, from
cosmology to religion, from artistic creativity to the secret of happiness.
Nevertheless, it is most probable that ES may contribute something to ES,
where ES heavily relies on intuition: IS offers a method for refining intuition.

Moreover the plausibility
method doesn't try to replace the exact method, but to complement it. One
of the constituents can be an exact scientific hypothesis, so the plausibility
of an integrative hypothesis becomes higher than the plausibility of its
scientific constituent(s).

**2.
To specialize or not to specialize?**

One of the most demanding
conditions is that an integrative thinker has to start from the largest
possible observational field, as multidisciplinarily as possible. Teilhard
-working from paleontology and evolution towards sociology and religion-
and Whitehead -starting as a mathematician and ending up as a philosopher-
were perhaps the most brilliant forerunners, who applied, rather intuitively
and avant la lettre than consciously- the integrative method. This makes
their conclusions highly plausible.

The Plausibility
is highest with theories that take into account the greatest number of
phenomena, the greatest number of arguments.

Graphically represented:

As we will discuss
in our final conclusions, a most universal applicability, is the
fundamental rule that, in IS, replaces exact measuring of ES. This is a
very demanding condition for Integrative Scientists, and will be the most
difficult obstacle to develop academic curricula that respect the requirements
of Integrative Science.

**3.
True or plausible?**

The conclusions of
integrative science are never *true* in the exact scientific meaning,
but just *plausible*. The plausibility increases with the number of
constituents, not only with the first thinking process, but with every
subsequent integration.

The so-called truth
in exact thinking is a very fallacious notion. Although since more than
a century it is clear that even the most respectable laws of Exact Science
has to be revised, the general impression prevails that the laws of science
are eternal, and their deductions absolutely reliable. Revisions may occur
from time to time, but they are rather the exception.

Integrative science
adopts another stance. It considers thinking as a circular, or rather a
spiral process, with even more plausibility at each circular movement.

This means that at
each given moment, each concept may become more complete, more realistic,
more comprehensive, more integrative. It considers as rather exceptional
that an integrative hypothesis should remain unrevised for a long period
of time.

The plausibility
of the intregrative concepts may appear less "*exact*" than the "*truth*"
of ES. This is probably a false impression: the exact laws of Newton, and
also those of Einstein, revised by Quantum Mechanics, the changing value
of the "constant" speed of light, and the Quantum Entanglement of particles,
prove to be much less reliable than when they were enthousiastically proposed.
Anyway, we never can be sure in advance of the inexactness of scientific
hypotheses. *Plausibility* and *Hypotheses* are just more honest
and modest terms than *Truth *and* Laws,* and should perhaps
be introduced in Exact Science as well.

**4.
A novel Way of Thinking?**

Another criticism
is that plausibility should be a novel way of thinking, where the "exact
*natural* sciences". Some arguments contravene this statement.

**1. The ancient,
"pre-modern" way of thinking**, amply used by ancient scientists and
--to a lesser degree-- during Middle Ages, was in fact much more analogous
to Integrative thinking. The philosophers and scientists --most often the
same people-- of ancient times in fact used the integrative method, and
controlled the margin of inaccurateness by studying many different sciences
and fields of human knowledge --and even art. One could state that they
went to the limits of what an intellectual could perform in those days.
The major difference between postmodern and the premodern thinking, is
the enormous amount of available data, including the contributions of Exact
Science.

**2. Integrative
thinking is the way the brain thinks**. In fact, exact thinking is highly
artifical and can't, even by skilled scientists, nearly never be performed
without the assistance of paper-and-pencil, or a computer. In fact, man
can't even calculate, hence we start memorizing, at a very early age, the
multiplication tables. And a slightly complex logical problem, with a number
of negations and suggestive ambiguities, predictably leads to logical errors.

In fact, nature couldn't
take the risk to produce an exactly functioning brain, for some vital reasons,
including: (1) every day a certain number of brain cells die to never be
replaced. A way of thinking, where each precise detail is indispensable
and extremely important should, with a biological brain, lead to catastrophes.
(2) man are most often confronted with new, unknown situations and problems,
where their accumulated knowledge and experience doesn't provide an immediate
answer. An "exact" brain should be highly inappropriate to cope with life.

Therefor, nature
opted for associative thinking. This way of thinking is highly imprecise,
but incredibly sppedy. Plausibility is attained by combining tens and tens
of associations that arise within instants. The common field, that is covered
by most assciations, is coinsidered as the most plausible.

*An example
to illustrate this. If somebody should ask us "how much is 367 * 629?"
we probably should come into trouble. But if the person adds "the right
answer is 834.885.177" we probably should immediately reply "that is wrong".
How can we be so certain that this is *not* the right answer, even
if we don't know the right one? Because, by associatio, we "feel" that
the right answer should be something between 180.000 (300 * 600) and 280.000
(400 * 700) or between 10.000 (100*100) and 1.000.000 (1.000 * 1.000).
Moreover, you can't have a result with 9 digits by multiplying two numbers
of 3 digits*

The ES is nothing special
for us: it emanates from natural thinking. Computer thinking and exact
deductive thinking in general is highly artificial. **Some
Modalities of Integrative Science**

1. A **fundamental
attitude**. Integrative science presupposes some general attitrudes towards
self, other people and existence in general, to enable a constructive dialogue.
Those rules include adagiums as: Eevery conflict is a pseudo-comflict:
with appropriate Florian

A "proof" based upon
the integration paradigm can be made by arguing, mathematically or logically,
that the former, non-integrative theories can be reached by an **eduction** (v) of the
integrative theory.

If

W (A_{1},
A_{2} , A_{3} , ...) = A_{#} then the *maximal
plausibility* for A_{#} (replacing the obsolete concepts
*true* and *exact*) is reached when

A_{1} = v
(A_{#})

A_{2} =
v
(A_{#})

A_{3} =
v
(A_{#})

i.e. if we can **(d)educe** each elementary theory from the integrative, by restricting the conditions
of applicability or observation. This is a proof, in the scientific meaning
of the word, that the integrative theory is (more) true (preferably: *plausible*)
than the non-integrative ones.

This edutive operation
can easily be done with Einstein's theory about the addition of velocity,
that mathematically can reduced to Newton's formula by putting v as extremely
low, so that the denominator practically equals 1, and can be removed in
the formula.

*Implications*.
This third assumption has many important implications for science in general,
especially for these sciences that are seemingly (still) inaccessible for
the exact-scientific method. These consequences apply as well to the **curriculum** of the studies, as to the structure of **scientific papers**. In another
article we will extend on that topic.

**Transcend or refute**

**The
integrative procedure**

**1. Introduction**

**Deduction and
induction**. The process of integration, leading to the formulation of
a new, more plausible hypothesis, is part of the indcution process, which
is still unconscious and inaccessible for conscious reasoning. All the
*Principles
of Logic*, from Socrates to Descartes and Leibniz, in fact are *Principles
of ***Deductive** Logic. An *Inductive Logic* is still to be
elaborated. This integrative process can be seen as the kernel of such
a paradigm.

In the next scheme
the process of thinking is depicted. In intelligent beings, Reality is,
at least in part, observed, and out from these observations some general
tendencies are abstracted. These are the hyotheses, the knowledge, general
rules and laws. The hypothesis formulation process is called **induction**.
From these abstract hypotheses, conclusions can be drawn by logical, **deductive** thinking. Generally this operation consists in replacing abstract data
by concrete numbers, and performing some mathematical transformations.
Science is a collection of conscious rules, i.e. operationalized and measurable.
Also in exact science, the elaboration of a scientific hypothesis is an
intuitive process. In fact, science only controls the "exactness" of the
intuitively formulated hypotheses.

In many cases, the
hypothesis itself remains hidden in the realm of the unconscious, and is
then called *intuition*. In this case also the deductive process is
largely unconscious and intuitive, e.g. art, musical improvisation.

The integration process
is the elaboration of a new, more general hypothesis out of some particular
hypotheses with limited applicability.

Because it is still
largely unconscious, this process can not ye be described in detail, not
yet operationalized, and not yet programmed for a computer. All computers
are still deductive up to now, although when the possibilities are limited,
a pseudo-inductive routine can be elaborated, like in computer chess programs:
a mathematical calculation of all possible reactions is made, and a quick
statistical evaluation is made of the outcome of each possibility, and
then a mathematically guided choice is automatically made.

But although we can't
yet describe the process in detail, we can identify several subphases,
making the theoretical challenge more realistic, and perhaps coming closer
to the long expected discovery of an Inductive Logic. We also will offer
some auxiliary tools to enhance this subconscious integrative process.

**2. Eduction (v)**

Let's consider two
statements, A en B. They seem irreconcilable:

A <> B But let's suppose that,
most probably, both observers were sufficiently intelligent not to be completely
wrong, and were observing different situations: different factors elicited
different behaviours in the same object. So the different perceptions of
the same object are in fact compatible, save for the exaggerate generalization
(**eduction**), unconsciously made in the absence of correcting phenomena,
thus making the statements unnecessarily incompatible. **3. Retroduction
(Y)**

The solution is that
both observers **retroduce** their statements, by adding *nuances* or *limiting conditions*, making an integration possible.

We postulate that
A ¿ B, and we retroduce A and B to A_{#} and B_{#} by

Y(A)
= A_{# }and Y(B)
= B_{#}

**4. Combination
(+)**

At this point an
integration, now nothing more than a simple **combination**, will be
possible:

W (A,
B) = {A_{#}B_{#}}

To perform this integration,
several methods seem useful:

- Each observer
can be placed in the situation of the other observer, and discover that
his statement needs some more nuance.

- The observers
can communicate their different approach to each other, believe each other,
and by empathy understand the limits of their own experience, and make
together an integrative hypothesis satisfying both of them.

- One observer can
accept the apparent contradictory statements as complementary, and try
to formulate an integration.

**5. Auxiliary methods** The intuitive integration
probably will be inspired by analogies, and especially by analogies with
fundamental features of reality described by the General
Systems Theory, and assisted by inductive Logics.

In another
article, several auxiliary tools to enhance intuitive integration,
are described.

**Historical
Precursors of Integrative Thinking**

**1. Introduction**

If we consider the
ways of thinking humans used in history, some difficult questions arise

- During
Renaissance, the scientific method of thinking emerged, claiming that a
hypothesis only could be accepted as "true" if experimental ebidence cam
to support it. How do we explain that, before this time, so much exact
science was developed, including Greek mathematics and science, Egyptian
and Assyrian geometry, architecture and astronomy. How could, ironically,
such a inexact way of thinking, typical for the so-called *Dark Middle
Ages*, develop the laws of exact scientific reasoning? - What's the difference
between Aristotelian dualism and Cartesian dualism?

- Was thinking with
revelated insight really so naive and so stupid?

These questions could
perhaps receive a beginning of an answer with the following considerations. **2. Intuition and
"Revelation" as a primitive form of integration**

One could perhaps
consider that those "primitive", "unscientific" forms of thinking were
in fact kinds of integrative thinking. The most important condition for
integrative thinking, i.e. a general knowledge of multiple fields of human
experience, was fulfilled. The ancient philosphers, unless nowadays scientists,
appeared to be experienced in many diverse "sciences", ranging from mathematics
to architecture and the art of war making, from music to medicine, passing
through law, politics and astronomy, all in one person. The notion of *homo
universalis*,[3] i.e. someone who knows "everything", was a high ranking
qualification until the 17th and even the 18th century. Blaise Pascal (1623-62)
is renown as the "last" *homo universalis*, although I should tend
to qualify Teilhard as a modern *homo universalis*.

This very general,
universal intellectual development is a fertile source for integrative
thinking. From such a diversified experience and knowledge, the philosopher-scientist
tries to formulate for himself hypotheses that fit with his experiences.
The control for the validity of such a hypothesis is his intuitive certitude
that all important data are explained. The same phenomenon probably occurs
with a successful artist: he "feels" that his creations are "right", i.e.
an intregration between a series of good separate ideas.

The step from such
an intuition towards the honest conviction that one is enlighted by divine
revelation, is not far.

The thinking error
is not that one conceives such intuitive integrations as *plausible*,
but as *absolutely true*, because *God can't lie*.

**3. The scientific
method of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin**

The notion of thought
or consciousness moving along a continuum of ever increasing plausibility
seems to be compatible with Teilhard de Chardin's view that thought or
consciousness gropes its way forward from one approximate conception of
reality to another with, on average, later cognitional approximations being
more accurate that earlier ones. In this regard, the French Jesuit writes:
*'Consciousness,
we know, does no more than grope its way forward, one approximation following
upon another.'* [4] And elsewhere, in a not dissimilar vein, he remarks
that '*the history of the living world can be summarised as the elaboration
of ever more perfect eyes within a cosmos in which there is always something
more to be seen.'* [5] Whether these eyes are those of the body or of
the mind, their function is always *'to try to see more and better'* [6]. So, Teilhard, here, does seem to be, at least in part, talking about
consciousness at the thinking level, ever groping it's way, by means of
increasingly plausible cognitions, away from falsity towards truth.

Hence I believe that
Teilhard was, in large measure, an integrative thinker and theoriser. In
this connection, in an essay of his, we read:

'*What
I wish to offer here is the outcome of my own thinking, expressed in a
simple and clarified form so that everyone may be able to understand it
without ambiguity, and may criticise and (this is my great hope) correct
and amplify it.' *[7]

So, to all appearances,
the French Jesuit was open to having his outlook, on an ongoing basis,
criticised, corrected and amplified with a view to having it continuously
nudged forward along the plausibility continuum in the hope that it would
ever move closer and closer to the truth. **4. Other
great Western thinkers, **including Hegel and Whitehead,
intuitively used integrative thinking, and advanced some theories, e.g.
Hegel's dialectic, that seem to announce Integrative Thinking. Also Wilber,
with his concept of Integral Thinking, comes close to integrative thinking,
although he just creates an "integral context", enabling integrative thinking
by approaching reality from 4 viewpoints (interior/exterior, individual/social)
without introducing the integration procedure.

[1]
Roose, K., 1980, Ontwerp voor een Integratieve Psychologie, Gent.

[2]
Roose, K. & Van Brandt, B., 1985, Het geheim van het geluk, Kluwer,
Antwerpen-Deventer

[3]
Beckers, Danny. ""Pieter Nieuwland (1764-1794): natural philosopher, mathematician,
and poet"; mathematical societies in the Netherlands and the ideal of the
Homo Universalis" De Achttiende Eeuw, 33, 1 (2001): 3-20

[4]
P. Teilhard de Chardin, 'The Evolution of Chastity', in 'Toward the Future'
(Harvest Book, 1975), p. 60.

[5]
P. Teilhard de Chardin, 'The Phenomenon of Man' (Fountain Books, 1977),
p. 35.

[6]
P. Teilhard de Chardin, 'Phenomenon', p. 35.

[7]
P. Teilhard de Chardin, 'The New Spirit', in 'The Future of Man' (Harper
& Row, 1969), p. 85