The Vexing Failures of Interdisciplinary Research
Orgtheory.net has an interesting post discussing the limited success of interdisciplinary scholarship. One commentor, Kieran Healy – a sociologist at Arizona and Australian National University – points to a similarly interesting article of his, The Contribution of Sociology, forthcoming in A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy, which discusses how and why sociology has seen more disciplinary heterodoxy than other areas.
Another commentor to the post, Jacob Levy, suggests that one powerful counterexample to the failure of interdisciplinary research is the law and economics movement. And a debate in the comments ensues. All worthwhile reading for people interested in interdisciplinary scholarship as its own social phenomenon.
On balance, it suggests that professors are like lawyers: ever protective of the guild, however that may be defined.
Hat tip: Gordon Smith.
UPDATE: I truly am a cadet, as Patrick’s comment points out: Nate blogged on this issue right here at Co-op a couple of days ago.