A Role for Formalisms in Integrative Studies

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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


The increasing importance of integrative studies in higher education makes it more vital to rethink integrative studies from the perspective of reaching maximum benefit. In rethinking integrative studies, it is appropriate to subsume a number of active concepts under more embracing rubrics. Also it is noteworthy that subsumption does not destroy or eliminate the active concept, does sustain the capacity to use the active concept appropriately, and does provide elbow room both for perceiving that concept within the larger rubric, and for reconceptualization of the active concept within the more embracing rubric.It is certainly appropriate as well to rethink the possibility that, in developing integrative studies in higher education, we can and should draw more heavily upon guidance from selected scholarly predecessors than we appear now to be doing, whether they were academics or not. Then, this guidance can also be integrated with any relevant knowledge under exploration at present. Finally, appropriately, we should consider the possibility of applying classical formalisms from formal logic, using computer assistance (which makes those formalisms readily available, and does not require understanding of their symbolic systems or operations as a precondition of their application) as a way of enhancing the breadth and quality of integrative studies: especially of those that involve complexity.




Warfield, John N., and Rosamond Warfield. "A Role for Formalisms in Integrative Studies." Issues in Integrative Studies 17 (1999): 21-54.