Knowers and Phenomena: Two Different Approaches to Interdisciplinarity and Interprofessionalism
This paper describes two influential but quite different perspectives on disciplinary knowledge and interdisciplinary integration. One conceives of these issues in terms of irreducible differences in the world, among the varying sorts of phenomena studied. The other perspective explains them primarily in terms of sociocultural dynamics within and among the "knowers" (i.e., disciplinary groups) doing the studying. Both perspectives can be productively understood through the lens of complexity science. Unfortunately, interdisciplinary theorists tend to adopt only one of these perspectives and neglect the other. There is thus a need for an integration of perspectives, in order that a more robust theory of interdisciplinarity might emerge. The final section the paper speculates on what such an integrative approach might look like, drawing upon pragmatism, enactivism and several other strands of non-representationist epistemological thinking.
McMurtry, Angus. "Knowers and phenomena: Two different approaches to interdisciplinarity and interprofessionalism." Issues in Integrative Studies 27 (2009): 1-16.
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