Knowledge Politics of Nano-Interdisciplinarity: Towards a Critical Knowledge Assessment
Schmidt, Jan Cornelius
MetadataShow full item record
In late-modern societies, knowledge constitutes a major component of any human activity. Knowledge politics - a field of political activities concerned with the production, application, monitoring and control of new knowledge and knowledge-based technoscientific innovations - has gained importance over the last 30 years. A central term in recent knowledge politics is "interdisciplinarity". The vagueness of this term, however, appears to be a disadvantage for any public discourse on goals and objectives of any specific knowledge politics. In addition to what has been achieved in the field of reflection on interdisciplinarity (ID), the aim of this paper is to provide a philosophical foundation for a classification and criticism of the innumerable usages of interdisciplinarity in present knowledge politics. With regard to established positions in the philosophy of science, different types of ID can be distinguished: the object type ("ontology"), the theory type (epistemology), the method type (methodology), and the problem / purpose type. Based on this classification I will show which specific type of ID is involved in the NSF's scenario on converging technologies - one of the most prominent kinds of knowledge politics. This type of interdisciplinarity will be contrasted with the research program of the European Commission on converging technologies.