Outside the Lines: Issues in Interdisciplinary Research by Liora Salter, Alison Mary Virginia Hearn

By Liora Salter, Alison Mary Virginia Hearn

Ranging from the idea that interdisciplinarity performs a job within the study group, this article explores the character and perform of interdisciplinary examine. members to this assortment tackle the ways that interdisciplinarity is outlined, located, and dealt with by means of researchers, universities and critics. additionally they research such themes as "myths" of interdisciplinarity, postmodern evaluations of interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity and learn furnish allocation, women's experiences, environmental experiences and "emerging" disciplines. the gathering combines a theoretical exam of disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity as different types of wisdom creation and association with sensible information regarding the fundamental problems and conundrums interested in the perform of interdisciplinary learn.

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After reading the applications and the reviewers' assessments in each case, we came to the conclusion that from the materials at hand, one could not have distinguished in any blind test between interdisciplinary and disciplinary applications. There were applications involving more than one approach or discipline in the so-called disciplinary pile, and single-minded, narrowly focused projects in the interdisciplinary pile. What distinguished the two groups of applications was not their content but the state of mind of the researchers involved in each case, a state of mind made evident by the researchers' own choice of funding program.

Transdisciplinarity can take many forms (see Kockelmans 19793), but the underlying desire remains the same: the unification of all forms of specialized knowledge and "a reaffirmation of lost wholeness" (Gusdorf 1977, 581). Some proponents feel this quest for unity, a quest as old as theoretical reason itself, must be brought about by philosophical reflection: "Philosophy, precisely because it is concerned with beginnings and foundations ... should contribute to the unification of all theoretical knowledge by reflecting on what all sciences presuppose" (Kockelmans 19793, 148).

The Association for Integrative Studies (AIS) was more academic and conceptual in orientation and consisted, for the most part, of scholars and teachers involved in interdisciplinary education. The AIS was most concerned with the epistemological study of interdisciplinarity. In the 19805 and 19905 these organizations continued to thrive, along with an increasing demand for interdisciplinary work outside the university. This work was asked to address local and global problems whose solutions could be seen to lie in the hands of all segments of society.

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