Special collection of articles on Philosophy of Interdisciplinarity

Guest Editors: Machiel Keestra [email protected] and Jan Cornelius Schmidt [email protected]


Although interdisciplinarity—and its cognate “transdisciplinarity”—is a hallmark of contemporary knowledge production, it is itself still a contentious concept. What does interdisciplinarity entail, and what is its significance? How are interdisciplinarity and/or transdisciplinarity distinct from other modes of knowledge production? What purposes does, could, or should interdisciplinarity serve?


This special collection of articles will advance both a philosophy of interdisciplinary studies and a philosophy of interdisciplinarity itself. An assumption of the guest editors is that inter- and trans-disciplinarity can and should also be regarded as a challenge to (disciplinary) science in general and to the academy, raising fundamental and critical questions about science, the organization of the universities, the approaches to nature and to human-nature relations, to experimentation and explanations, forms of knowledge, and more. Acknowledging that interdisciplinary research often consists of case studies rather than more generalizable research, we also welcome articles that build a philosophical approach while integrating more detailed analysis of one or more cases of interdisciplinary research.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

  • • Responses to “What is inter- and/or trans-disciplinarity” and to “What should inter- and/or trans-disciplinarity be,” or equivalent global questions, critically building upon existing literatures
    • Development of criteria, dimensions or elements for a conceptual clarification or a philosophy of inter- and/or trans-disciplinarity, including a justification of the criteria
    • Articulations of ethics, value systems or normative basis in light of interdisciplinary research or teaching
    • Tracing the history of inter- and trans-disciplinarity back to the 1970s or to earlier decades and linking it to the history of environmentalism, to the ambivalences of technological advancement, to the crisis of human-nature relations or to feminist, post-colonial and other critiques of science
    • Reflecting on inter- and trans-disciplinarity as a cultural critique of (late modern) knowledge production. Are they still critical concepts or have they lost their critical momentum and original spirit?
    • Situating and clarifying inter- and trans-disciplinarity in the light of concepts such as mode-2 science, post-normal science, post-paradigmatic science, post-academic science, technoscience, problem-oriented research, post-disciplinarity, triple helix research, transformative research, transition science, participatory action research, citizen science, technology assessment, sustainability research, social-ecology, etc.
    • Expositions of how interdisciplinary thinking fits into the cultural history of thought and knowledge, and the tradition of the university system
    • Conceptual and methodological analysis of cross-disciplinary connections between philosophy of interdisciplinary studies and other fields of research, such as sociology of sciences, philosophy of science, psychology, literature, environmental studies, political science, etc.
    • Exploration of the impact of more recent philosophical debates around e.g. diversity, pluralism, epistemic virtues, positionality on interdisciplinarity.

Issues in Interdisciplinary Studies, founded in 1982, is a peer-reviewed publication of the Association for Interdisciplinary Studies and published by Texas Tech University Press, dedicated to advancing the theory and practice of the many varieties of interdisciplinarity. See: http://gkq.102.myftpupload.com/issues/

All prospective authors are required to submit a 200-word abstract describing the content of the proposed paper and demonstrating how it addresses the general or specific themes of the special collection to the guest editors by February 15, 2024. After an initial review process, selected authors will be invited to submit a full paper. Only invited manuscripts will be considered for our double-blind peer-review process. Papers should be 6000-8000 words, including references. Longer papers may be considered. All papers should follow APA style. The deadline for submitting invited manuscripts for consideration is June 30, 2024.