Being Inter-Disciplinary

Posted by Edward Willatt on Monday, September 21, 2009 Under: Interdisciplinary
An ongoing and vital debate is touched upon by Robert Eaglestone's review of Alex Danchev's On Art and War and Terror in the Times Higher Education Supplement:

While academics are frequently exhorted to aspire to interdisciplinary work, this often boils down to tacking a discussion of a novel on to a piece of historical writing, or making reference to a few events to contextualise a picture.  Real interdisciplinary work goes on when there is something unique and unifying beyond, or perhaps below, the academy's usual disciplinary boundaries
. (THES, 17 September 2009, p. 46)

In my work I have used Proust's literature to explain, develop and test a philosophical account of experience and eighteenth century legal practice in the Holy Roman Empire to understand Kant's methods of argument.  Does interdisciplinary work take place at the boundary or 'in-between'?  Are we always anchored in the methods of a particular discipline?  Which discipline is able to account for the relations between the disciplines?  Often this is a job claimed by the allegedly purely practical discipline of management.  Hence the 'sandpits' that are organised for researchers from different disciplines to take part in and create some kind of 'synergy'.  This discipline does not examine its own foundations or its relation to other disciplines because it is understood as simply a 'practical' and neutral pursuit.  I would instead seek to locate architectonics at the forefront of this debate rather than accept that research needs to be 'managed' or that we need to set up a new discipline or meta-discipline called 'interdisciplinary studies' or the study of interdisciplinarity (if that is a word).  However, I would seek to develop architectonics along lines suggested by Alain Badiou's philosophy.  Here there are non-philosophical conditions and philosophy must be concerned with these, with the truths revealed perhaps unconsciously by non-philosophers.  It seems to me that it is neither in a post-modern notion of the interdisciplinary (which rejects hierarchy above all) or a classical architectonics that seeks to place philosophy above other disciplines that we can do justice to these concerns.  Instead an architectonics must must be rhizomatous to use Deleuze and Guattari's model in A Thousand Plateaus or the 'guardian of truths' that Badiou envisages.

In : Interdisciplinary 



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Being Inter-Disciplinary

Posted by Edward Willatt on Monday, September 21, 2009 Under: Interdisciplinary
An ongoing and vital debate is touched upon by Robert Eaglestone's review of Alex Danchev's On Art and War and Terror in the Times Higher Education Supplement:

While academics are frequently exhorted to aspire to interdisciplinary work, this often boils down to tacking a discussion of a novel on to a piece of historical writing, or making reference to a few events to contextualise a picture.  Real interdisciplinary work goes on when there is something unique and unifying beyond, or perhaps below, the academy's usual disciplinary boundaries
. (THES, 17 September 2009, p. 46)

In my work I have used Proust's literature to explain, develop and test a philosophical account of experience and eighteenth century legal practice in the Holy Roman Empire to understand Kant's methods of argument.  Does interdisciplinary work take place at the boundary or 'in-between'?  Are we always anchored in the methods of a particular discipline?  Which discipline is able to account for the relations between the disciplines?  Often this is a job claimed by the allegedly purely practical discipline of management.  Hence the 'sandpits' that are organised for researchers from different disciplines to take part in and create some kind of 'synergy'.  This discipline does not examine its own foundations or its relation to other disciplines because it is understood as simply a 'practical' and neutral pursuit.  I would instead seek to locate architectonics at the forefront of this debate rather than accept that research needs to be 'managed' or that we need to set up a new discipline or meta-discipline called 'interdisciplinary studies' or the study of interdisciplinarity (if that is a word).  However, I would seek to develop architectonics along lines suggested by Alain Badiou's philosophy.  Here there are non-philosophical conditions and philosophy must be concerned with these, with the truths revealed perhaps unconsciously by non-philosophers.  It seems to me that it is neither in a post-modern notion of the interdisciplinary (which rejects hierarchy above all) or a classical architectonics that seeks to place philosophy above other disciplines that we can do justice to these concerns.  Instead an architectonics must must be rhizomatous to use Deleuze and Guattari's model in A Thousand Plateaus or the 'guardian of truths' that Badiou envisages.

In : Interdisciplinary 



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