March 16: Michael O’Rourke (Michigan State University)
3:30 to 5:00 pm in KTH B124
“Talking over the fence: Dialogue and integration in interdisciplinary research.”
Abstract: Interdisciplinary research is a mode of inquiry that aims to combine different disciplinary perspectives on a common problem. These perspectives are conditioned by values, core beliefs, and ontological commitments, and their combination highlights a variety of conceptual differences among disciplines that are worthy of philosophical investigation. In this talk, I address the nature of this combination, characterizing it as a form of integration. In its sparest form, interdisciplinary integration involves the bringing together of multiple disciplinary inputs to produce a single output, but what this looks like in specific instances varies dramatically from context to context. Important work on the varieties of interdisciplinary integration (e.g., data integration, integration of methods) has been done in the philosophy of science, but I will focus on it in the context of the philosophy of language. Focusing on communication involving collaborating scientists who represent different disciplines, I argue that dialogue functions as an especially powerful epistemic integrator, supporting the integration of epistemic attitudes in specific project contexts.
To view the full roster of speakers, please visit our Speaker Series page.