Assumptions of future studies
I already mentioned how "Foundations of Futures Studies: Human Science for a New Era: History, Purposes, Knowledge (Human Science for a New Era, 1)" by Wendell Bell was a relevant reference about future studies/foresight. One of the book chapter deals with the assumptions of future studies:
- Time is continuous, linear, unidirectional and irreversible (...) the continuum of time defines the past, present and future.
- Not everything that will exist has existed or does exist. Thus the future may contain things that never existed before.
- Futures thinking is essential for human action.
- In making our way in the world, both individually and collectively, the most useful knowledge is "knowledge of the future". In making plans, exploring alternatives, choosing goals, and deciding how they ought to to act, humans have a need to know the future and how past and present causes will produce future effects.
- The future is non-evidential and cannot be observed; therefore there are no facts about the future. Nonetheless (...) it is possible to have 'conjectural' knowledge.
- The future is not totally predetermined. It is more or less open.
- To a greater or lesser degree future outcomes can be influenced by individual and collective action.
- The interdependence in the world invites a holistic perspective and a transdisciplinary approach both in the organization of knowledge for decision making and in social action.
- Some futures are better than others
Why do I blog this? these assumptions give an interesting frame as they give rationales and directions for future studies. As the author mentions, it's a selection of them that he exemplifies in his book in more actionable ways.