Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies 2 (37):110-129 (2019)

When introduced around 1925, interdisciplinarity, grounded in the notion of the unity of knowledge, was meant to reconnect the fragmented and specialized disciplines of academia. However, interdisciplinary research became more and more challenging as the plurality and heterogeneity of disciplinary perspectives and insights increased. Insisting on this divergence and diversity, Julie Thompson Klein has nonetheless contributed in important ways to convergence in interdisciplinarity with her work on the process of integration as interdisciplinarity's defining feature. Of course, she is aware that the increasing inclusion of extra-academic stakeholders in transdisciplinary research constitutes a fundamental challenge to integrative interdisciplinarity. This challenge implies that next to academic contributions, experiential knowledge, interests, and norms must be recognized as valuable to the process, and stakeholder expectations of applicable results must be met. Exploring the future by extending this crucial development further, this article focuses on the actionability of knowledge as an additional criterion for effective interdisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity, as it is in Action Research. With action options for stakeholders being an important goal for such research, it is argued that joint deliberation about these options must be part of the process, aiming for reflective equilibrium. At the same time, an important role for imagination is defended, enabling adequate consideration of action options with their ramifications and implications. The future of interdisciplinarity, it is concluded, will entail an important role for the actionability criterion and for the related role of imagination of potential outcomes, much greater roles than these now have.
Keywords interdisciplinarity  transdisciplinarity  action research  imagination  creativity  narrative  scenario  reflective equilibrium  integration
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Independence of Moral Theory.John Rawls - 1974 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 48:5 - 22.

View all 15 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

How and Why to Teach Interdisciplinary Research Practice.Rick Szostak - 2007 - Journal of Research Practice 3 (2):Article M17.
A Taxonomy of Interdisciplinarity.Julie Thompson Klein - 2010 - In Julie Thompson Klein & Carl Mitcham (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity. Oxford University Press.
The Interdisciplinarity Revolution.Vincenzo Politi - 2019 - Theoria. An International Journal for Theory, History and Foundations of Science 34 (2):237.
Multidisciplinarity, Interdisciplinarity, Transdisciplinarity, and the Sciences.David Alvargonzález - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (4):387-403.
Interdisciplinarity in Action: Philosophy of Science Perspectives.Uskali Mäki & Miles MacLeod - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (3):323-326.
The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity.Robert Frodeman (ed.) - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
Toward an STS Experiment with Interdiciplinarity.Carl Mitcham - 2003 - Bulletin of Science, Technology and Society 23 (6):473-478.
Transformation and Deformation of Scientific Knowledge in Connection with Changes in Society.A. A. Kartashova - 2015 - Liberal Arts in Russiaроссийский Гуманитарный Журналrossijskij Gumanitarnyj Žurnalrossijskij Gumanitaryj Zhurnalrossiiskii Gumanitarnyi Zhurnal 4 (5):347.
Inter- Und Transdisziplinarität: Heuristik Und Begründung. [REVIEW]Cornelia Liesenfeld - 1993 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 24 (2):257 - 274.
Interdisciplinarity in Philosophy of Science.Marie I. Kaiser, Maria Kronfeldner & Robert Meunier - 2014 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 45 (1):59-70.


Added to PP index

Total views
82 ( #139,915 of 2,498,575 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #33,629 of 2,498,575 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes