Praxis (glossary)

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(1) Praxis is the process of translating an idea into action (WordNet).

(2) In praxis there can be no prior knowledge of the right means by which we realize the end in a particular situation. For the end itself is only specified in deliberating about the means appropriate to a particular situation." (Bernstein 1983).


(1) WordNet 3.1. Accessed on 1 August 2012. Available at

(2) Bernstein, R.J. (1983). Beyond Objectivism and Relativism: Science, hermeneutics and praxis. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.


The term Praxis has meaning in politic, education, philosophy and spiritualism. It appears in the writing of Aristotle and Marx, both of whom relate it to the translation of philosophical ideas into real world action. Both also associate this in their different ways with moral notions of freedom of action and doing good by taking the right actions.

Praxis is also associated with a way of thinking in which practical considerations drive the development of theoretic approaches and visa versa (see 2 above).

Members of the Systems Science community have adopted the term to characterize work to develop an integrated approach to practice, which provides a framework for the use of appropriate elements of available theory as needed and helps to drive the development of that theory to resolve practical concerns as they arise.

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