The career of the term 'interdisciplinarity' (or more recently of'transdisciplinarity') reflects a growing discontent with the specialization of scientific knowledge. At the same time it is apparent that specialization is unavoidable, and even the mergers of new disciplines lead to new specialized fields. The discourse on interdisciplinarity is primarily one of legitimating science.
Recent Publications:Weingart, P. & Stehr, N.(Hrsg.), (2000): Practising Interdisciplinarity. Toronto. University of Toronto.
This approach tries to account for knowledge dynamics by way of focusing on deliberately chosen, clear-cut units of knowledge such as individual terms or phrases. The assumption is that a term and its importing discourses interact with each other in just the way a metaphor in a poem does: eventually both acquire new shades of meaning. From this perspective the dynamics of knowledge can be observed as a process of continuities and discontinuities, specializations and integrations , or variances and stabilizations respectively.
Recent Publications:Maasen, S. & Weingart, P. (2000), Metaphors and the Dynamics of Knowledge. London and New York. Routledge.