From Scientific Specialization to the Dialogue Between the Disciplines




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Association for Interdisciplinary Studies


The enormous increase of the objects of inquiry since the seventeenth century has led to an increasing specialization in the individual scholarly and scientific disciplines and in their research. Today, despite the immense gain in knowledge tied to this development, an increasing number of people believe that cooperation between the disciplines is urgently necessary, because it can lead to creative ways of approaching problems and, therefore, to productive solutions. This is especially true for such socially relevant problems as research on peace or the environment. But considerable barriers hinder this cooperation. The conventional organizational forms of the scholarly and scientific enterprise, for example, promote further specialization rather than cooperation. So, too, the research undertaken by different disciplines often proceeds on vastly different basic assumptions. And, of course, one discipline often lacks knowledge about a neighboring discipline. But these difficulties might well be overcome if scholars and scientists are willing to adapt themselves, quickly and unconventionally, to new and surprising research constellations.




Vosskamp, Wilhelm. "From Specialization to the Dialogue Between the Disciplines." Issues in integrative studies 4 (1986): 17-36.