In this paper I attempt to answer the question: What is interdisciplinary communication? I attempt to answer this question, rather than what some might consider the ontologically prior question—what is interdisciplinarity (ID)?—for two reasons: (1) there is no generally agreed-upon definition of ID; and (2) one’s views regarding interdisciplinary communication have a normative relationship with one’s other views of ID, including one’s views of its very essence. I support these claims with reference to the growing literature on ID, which has (...) a marked tendency to favor the idea that interdisciplinary communication entails some kind of ‘integration’. The literature on ID does not yet include very many philosophers, but we have something valuable to offer in addressing the question of interdisciplinary communication. Playing somewhat fast-and-loose with traditional categories of the subdisciplines of philosophy, I group some philosophers—mostly from the philosophy of science, social–political philosophy, and moral theory—and some non-philosophers together to provide three different, but related, answers to the question of interdisciplinary communication. The groups are as follows: (1) Habermas–Klein, (2) Kuhn–MacIntyre, and (3) Bataille–Lyotard. These groups can also be thought of in terms of the types of answers they give to the question of interdisciplinary communication, especially in terms of the following key words (where the numbers correspond to the groups from the previous sentence): (1) consensus, (2) incommensurability, and (3) invention. (shrink)
This essay argues that political, economic, and cultural developments have made the twentieth century disciplinary approach to philosophy unsustainable. It (a) discusses the reasons behind this unsustainability, which also affect the academy at large, (b) describes applied philosophy as an inadequate theoretical reaction to contemporary societal pressures, and (c) proposes a dedisciplined and interstitial approach??field philosophy??as a better response to the challenges facing the twenty-first century philosophy.
This essay inaugurates a commitment to devote a small part of Environmental Philosophy to reflection on how environmental philosophers can better engage scientists and decisionmakers already involved in their own conversation about the environment. Philosophers generally have not made the question of how to make philosophy a relevant or useful part of their philosophical research. By way of introduction, we begin to articulate a theoretical framework for how we might integrate the humanities, philosophy in general, and environmental philosophy in particular (...) with issues of public policy via a practical engagement of scholars across the humanities in a conversation that simultaneously invites non-academics within and takes us beyond the walls of academe. (shrink)