Humanistic Values and the Values of Humanities in Interdisciplinary Research

Cogent Arts and Humanities 3:1123080 (2016)

Authors
Brian Robinson
Texas A&M University - Kingsville
Michael O'Rourke
Michigan State University
Chad Gonnerman
University of Southern Indiana
Abstract
Research integrating the perspectives of different disciplines, or interdisciplinary research, has become increasingly common in academia and is considered important for its ability to address complex questions and problems. This mode of research aims to leverage differences among disciplines in generating a more complex understanding of the research landscape. To interact successfully with other disciplines, researchers must appreciate their differences, and this requires recognizing how the research landscape looks from the perspective of other disciplines. One central aspect of these disciplinary perspectives involves values, and more specifically, the roles that values do, may, and should play in research practice. It is reasonable to think that disciplines differ in part because of the different views that their practitioners have on these roles. This paper represents a step in the direction of evaluating this thought. Operating at the level of academic branches, which comprise relevantly similar disciplines (e.g. social and behavioral sciences), this paper uses quantitative techniques to investigate whether academic branches differ in terms of views on the impact of values on research. Somewhat surprisingly, we find very little relation between differences in these views and differences in academic branch. We discuss these findings from a philosophical perspective to conclude the paper.
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