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Humanities and complex systems: towards a new trans-disciplinary paradigm

Head: Pier Luigi Sacco

Year 2017

Talking generically about humanities does not allow us to do justice to the complexity and also the heterogeneity of the knowledge that is identified with such a macro-reference discipline.

Under the same label, in fact, very different specific disciplinary fields meet, sometimes separated by deep methodological and conceptual caesuras, as happens, for example, between fields that adhere to post-modern forms of thought and those that instead refer to analytical thought. At the same time, especially in disciplines that are not based on an anti-scientist attitude and that do not reduce every phenomenon of social reality to a construction based on structures of patriarchal dominance, there are increasing opportunities for dialogue with other fields of knowledge belonging to the most diverse fields, including the so-called 'hard sciences', as happens, for example, in digital humanities in their forms most associated with computational approaches. There are therefore spaces to show how humanities can make an important contribution to the exploration of new trans-disciplinary paradigms in which the dialogue between the various fields of knowledge becomes an essential component to give concrete answers to new social challenges whose answers require a wide variety of skills, knowledge and methods of analysis and research.

The aim of this research was to explore some possible trans-disciplinary fertilization paths between social sciences and humanities, with particular reference to the narrative dimension of cultural planning practices in urban space and the possibility of using humanistic knowledge as a resource to analyze the social sustainability of participatory cultural practices. The methodological reflection carried out in the project has produced some preliminary research results, which have merged into a work currently being written: P.L. Sacco, A. Crociata and S. Pedrini, "The cultural dimension of urban planning narratives and their discontents".