In this conceptual analysis, we argue that the contemporary popularity of interdisciplinarity should be complemented by a deeper, critical reflection on its goals and on the conditions for its success. The goal of producing a surplus of knowledge should be interpreted as the production of new ways of thinking, and leave recognizable traces in the involved disciplines. Interdisciplinary success is closely dependent on particular conditions, i.e. an object, a goal, regular shared practices, and the researchers’ capacities for believing in and sticking to specific attidudes. Such conditions should be taken into serious account when interdisciplinary endeavours are planned and selected. We further argue that the highest goal of interdisciplinarity consists in the transformation of society and culture. The goal, related to science’s placement in contemporary society, has to do with the meaning and effects of research. Also to those disciplines that have less familiarity with science politics reflections could and should be challenged and stimulated by the highest goal.
Look for it in the Publications page (with additional links):
Brambilla R, Serrelli E (forthcoming). The goals and conditions of successful interdisciplinarity. Some critical guidelines in planning, managing and evaluating interdisciplinary projects. Paradigmi. Rivista di critica filosofica, in press. ISSN 1120-3404 [http://hdl.handle.net/10281/49695]