Skip to main content Accessibility help

Cross-Disciplinary Research as a Platform for Philosophical Research



It is argued that core areas of philosophy can benefit from reflection on cross-disciplinary research (CDR). We start by giving a brief account of CDR, describing its variability and some of the ways in which philosophers can interact with it. We then provide an argument in principle for the conclusion that CDR is philosophically fecund, arguing that since CDR highlights fundamental differences among disciplinary research worldviews, it can be used to motivate new philosophical problems and supply new insights into old problems. We close by providing an argument by example that uses the epistemology of peer disagreement to establish the potential of CDR for core philosophical areas. With this argument, we aim to demonstrate how the complex research contexts that CDR affords can point the way toward important avenues of epistemological research by highlighting potential limitations of key epistemological components, such as peerage and uniqueness.



Hide All
Bammer, Gabriele. (2013) Disciplining Interdisciplinarity. Canberra: ANU E-Press.
Bergmann, Michael. (2009) ‘Rational Disagreement after Full Disclosure’. Episteme, 6, 336–53.
Christensen, David. (2007) ‘Epistemology of Disagreement: The Good News’. Philosophical Review, 116, 187217.
Cohen, Stuart. (2013) ‘A Defense of the (Almost) Equal Weight View’. In Christensen, D. and Lackey, J. (eds.), The Epistemology of Disagreement: New Essays (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 98117.
Cooke, Nancy J., and Hilton, Margaret L.. (2015) Enhancing the Effectiveness of Team Science. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.
De Cruz, Helen, and De Smedt, Johan. (2013) ‘The Value of Epistemic Disagreement in Scientific Practice. The Case of Homo Floresiensis’. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 44, 169–77.
De Dreu, Carsten K. W. (2006) ‘When Too Little or Too Much Hurts: Evidence for a Curvilinear Relationship Between Task Conflict and Innovation in Teams’. Journal of Management, 32, 83107.
Dohn, Nina B. (2011) ‘Roles of Epistemology in Investigating Knowledge: “Philosophizing With”’. Metaphilosophy, 42, 431–50.
Eigenbrode, Sanford D., O'Rourke, Michael, Wulfhorst, J. D., Althoff, David M., Goldberg, Caren S., Merrill, Kaylana, et al. (2007) ‘Employing Philosophical Dialogue in Collaborative Science’. BioScience, 57, 5564.
Elga, Adam. (2010) ‘How to Disagree about How to Disagree’. In Feldman, R. and Warfield, T. (eds.), Disagreement (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 175–86.
Feldman, Richard. (2003) Epistemology. Upper Saddle River: Prentice-Hall.
Feldman, Richard. (2006) ‘Epistemological Puzzles about Disagreement’. In Hetherington, S. (ed.), Epistemology Futures (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 216–36.
Feldman, Richard. (2007) ‘Reasonable Religious Disagreements’. In Antony, L. (ed.), Philosophers Without Gods: Meditations on Atheism and the Secular Life (New York: Oxford University Press), 194214.
Feldman, Richard, and Warfield, Ted. (2010) ‘Introduction’. In Feldman, R. and Warfield, T. (eds.), Disagreement (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 19.
Frigg, Roman, and Hartmann, Stephan. (2012) ‘Models in Science’. In Zalta, E. N. (ed.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2012 Edition),
Frodeman, Robert. (2008) ‘Redefining Ecological Ethics: Science, Policy, and Philosophy at Cape Horn’. Science and Engineering Ethics, 14, 597610.
Frodeman, Robert. (2010) ‘Introduction’. In Frodeman, R., Klein, J. T., and Mitcham, C. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (Oxford: Oxford University Press), xxix–xxxix.
Frodeman, Robert. (2014) Sustainable Knowledge: A Theory of Interdisciplinarity. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Godfrey-Smith, William. (1979) ‘Special Relativity and the Present’. Philosophical Studies, 36, 233–44.
Gorman, Michael, ed. (2010) Trading Zones and Interactional Expertise: Creating New Kinds of Collaboration. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Griffiths, Paul, and Stotz, Karola. (2014) ‘Conceptual Barriers to Interdisciplinary Communication: When Does Ambiguity Matter?’ In O'Rourke, M., Crowley, S., Eigenbrode, S., and Wulfhorst, J. D. (eds.), Enhancing Communication and Collaboration in Interdisciplinary Research (Los Angeles, CA: Sage), 195215.
Hansson, Sven. (2008) ‘Philosophy and Other Disciplines’. Metaphilosophy, 39, 472–83.
Harding, Sandra. (1993) ‘Rethinking Standpoint Epistemology: What is ‘Strong Objectivity’?’ In Alcoff, L. and Potter, E. (eds.), Feminist Epistemologies (New York: Routledge), 4982.
Hoffmann, Michael, Schmidt, Jan, and Nersessian, Nancy. (2013) ‘Philosophy of and as Interdisciplinarity’. Synthese, 190, 1857–64.
Kelly, Thomas. (2005) ‘The Epistemic Significance of Disagreement’. In Gendler, T. and Hawthorne, J. (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Volume I (Oxford: Clarendon), 167–96.
Kelly, Thomas. (2010) ‘Peer Disagreement and Higher-Order Evidence’. In Feldman, R. and Warfield, T. (eds.), Disagreement (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 111–74.
Kitcher, Philip. (1993) Advancement of Science. New York: Oxford University Press.
Klein, Julie T. (2008) ‘Evaluation of Interdisciplinary and Transdisciplinary Research: A Literature Review’. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 35(2S), S116–S123.
Knorr-Cetina, Karin. (1999) Epistemic Cultures: How the Sciences Make Knowledge. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Kopec, Matthew, and Titelbaum, Michael G.. (2016) ‘The Uniqueness Thesis’. Philosophy Compass, 11, 189200.
Lackey, Jennifer. (2010) ‘A Justificationist View of Disagreement's Significance’. In Haddock, A., Millar, A., and Pritchard, D. (eds.), Social Epistemology (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 298325.
Ladyman, James. (2008) ‘Idealization’. In Psillos, S. and Curd, M. (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science (London: Routledge), 358–66.
Marrelli, Mauro, Li, Chaoyang, Rasgon, Jason, and Jacobs-Lorena, Marcelo. (2007) ‘Transgenic Malaria-Resistant Mosquitoes Have a Fitness Advantage When Feeding on Plasmodium-Infected Blood’. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 5580–83.
McMullin, Ernan. (1985) ‘Galilean Idealization’. Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, 16, 247–73.
Minson, Julia, Liberman, Varda, and Ross, Lee. (2011) ‘Two to Tango: Effects of Collaboration and Disagreement on Dyadic Judgment’. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37, 1325–38.
National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Committee on Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research and Committee on Science Engineering and Public Policy. (2004) Facilitating Interdisciplinary Research. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Nelson, Lynn. (1993) ‘Epistemological Communities’. In Alcoff, L. and Potter, E. (eds.), Feminist Epistemologies (New York: Routledge), 121–59.
Nemeth, Charlan, and Nemeth-Brown, Brendan. (2003) ‘Better than Individuals? The Potential Benefits of Dissent and Diversity for Group Creativity’. In Paulus, P. and Nijstad, B. (eds.), Group Creativity: Innovation through Collaboration (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 6384.
Nemeth, Charlan, Brown, Keith, and Rogers, John. (2001) ‘Devil's Advocate vs. Authentic Dissent: Stimulating Quantity and Quality’. European Journal of Social Psychology, 31, 707–20.
O'Rourke, Michael, and Crowley, Stephen. (2013). ‘Philosophical Intervention and Cross-Disciplinary Science: The Story of the Toolbox Project’. Synthese, 190, 1937–54.
Prinz, Jesse J. (2008) ‘Empirical Philosophy and Experimental Philosophy’. In Knobe, J. and Nichols, S. (eds.), Experimental Philosophy (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 189208.
Schulze, Anna, and Seuffert, Verena. (2013) ‘Conflicts, Cooperation, and Competition in the Field of Science and Technology’. In Feist, G. and Gorman, M. (eds.), Handbook of the Psychology of Science (New York: Springer), 303–30.
Stokols, Daniel, Fuqua, Julian, Gress, Jennifer, Harvey, Richard, Phillips, Kimari, Baezcondi-Garbanati, Lourdes, et al. (2003) ‘Evaluating Transdisciplinary Science’. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 5, S21–S39.
Thagard, Paul. (1997) ‘Collaborative Knowledge’. Noûs, 31, 242–61.
Turner, Stephen. (2000) ‘What are Disciplines? And how is Interdisciplinarity Different?’ In Weingart, P., and Stehr, N. (eds.), Practising Interdisciplinarity (Toronto: University of Toronto Press), 4665.
Weingart, Peter. (2010). ‘A Short History of Knowledge Formations’. In Frodeman, R., Klein, J. T., and Mitcham, C.. (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Interdisciplinarity (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 314.
Wildman, Wesley. (2010) Religious Philosophy as Multidisciplinary Comparative Inquiry. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.
Yong, Kevyn, Sauer, Stephen J., and Mannix, Elizabeth E.. (2014) ‘Conflict and Creativity in Interdisciplinary Teams’. Small Group Research, 45, 266–89.


Related content

Powered by UNSILO

Cross-Disciplinary Research as a Platform for Philosophical Research



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.