The Generalist and the Disciplines: The Case of Lewis Mumford
This essay explores the methodology and discursive style of pioneering interdisciplinarian Lewis Mumford. Widely acknowledged as one of the most influential scholars of the century, Mumford deployed a richly textured "mixed" discourse, incorporating special guiding metaphors of "the city" and "the organism" to enhance his interpretive range and power. He sought to demonstrate how the disciplines could be brought into cooperation through the mediation of the generalist, and to explore the rigor necessary to this process. In doing so, he achieved an effective interdisciplinary--as opposed to transdisciplinary--approach, embodied in an impressive number of major and minor works. Mumford provides us with a model of successful interdisciplinary effort, and with a sense of the new intellectual community this effort makes possible.
Beckwith, Guy V. "The Generalist and the Disciplines: The Case of Lewis Mumford." Issues in Integration Studies 14 (1996): 7-28.
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