Multidisciplinarity, Interdisciplinarity, Transdisciplinarity, and the Sciences

International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):387-403 (2011)
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Abstract

The ideas of interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity have been widely applied to the relationship between sciences. This article is an attempt to discuss the reasons why scientific interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity pose specific problems. First of all, certain questions about terminology are taken into account in order to clarify the meaning of the word ?discipline? and its cognates. Secondly, we argue that the specificity of sciences does not lie in becoming disciplines. Then, we focus on the relationship between sciences, and between sciences and technologies: we argue that multidisciplinarity and interdisciplinarity are a common practice among strict sciences and technologies. Finally, we discuss the different meanings of transdisciplinarity when it is applied to sciences.

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David Alvargonzález
University of Oviedo (Spain)

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