Integrating interdisciplinary problem solving through process


An intuitive and appealing way to characterize problem solving is as the application of constraints which reduce the problem-solution space. Any advantage offered by interdisciplinary problem solving would then plausi- bly derive from the integration of constraints from the fields involved. We propose an account of interdisciplinary problem solving which treats the integration of constraints as an iterative process. Appealing to a general- ization of entity-activity dualism from mechanical explanation, we extend the accounts of Bechtel and of Craver to non-hierarchical, non-life-science, interdisciplinary problem-solving. Integration of disciplines occurs at the level of fields and their explanatory frameworks.



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Henrik Thorén
Lund University
Brian Hepburn
Wichita State University

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