Publications of Kaiser, Marie I.

Problems and Prospects of Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Philosophy of Science (revised and enlarged version of 2015-version in Briefe zur Interdisziplinarität)

In this paper, we discuss some problems and prospects of interdisciplinary encounters by focusing on philosophy of science as a case study. After introducing the case, we give an overview about the various ways in which philosophy of science can be interdisciplinary in Section 2. In Section 3, we name some general problems concerning the possible points of interaction between philosophy of science and the sciences studied. In Section 4 we compare the advantages and risks of interdisciplinarity for individual researchers and institutions. In Section 5, we discuss interdisciplinary PhD programs, in particular concerning two main problems: increased workload and the quality of supervision. In the final Section 6, we look at interdisciplinary careers beyond the PhD.

Problems and Prospects of Interdisciplinary Philosophy of Science: An Opinionated Report from the Workbench.

Early-career philosophers of science often find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place, facing conflicting demands. While they have to meet the rigorous standards of a career in philosophy, they are at the same time expected to possess detailed knowledge of the sciences they study. By pulling in different directions, these two poles can be difficult to bridge. Interdisciplinarily engaged philosophers of science face not just an increased workload but also institutional conditions that are not always supportive for their engagement. For instance, while the need for interdisciplinary research is impressed upon young researchers by their advisers and by the subject matters of their research, universities and funding institutions, by contrast, still follow rather conservative and disciplinary policies when they fill positions or allocate funding. In March 2013, the interdisciplinarity of philosophy of science and the resulting situation for early career researchers was the subject of a workshop and a panel discussion funded by the Andrea von Braun Foundation. This paper takes up several of the issues that were controversially disputed at that event.

Interdisciplinarity in Philosophy of Science.

This paper examines various ways in which philosophy of science can be interdisciplinary. It aims to provide a map of relations between philosophy and sciences, some of which are interdisciplinary. Such a map should also inform discussions concerning the question “How much Philosophy in the Philosophy of Science?” In Part 1, we distinguish between synoptic and collaborative interdisciplinarity. With respect to the latter, we furthermore distinguish two kinds of reflective forms of collaborative interdisciplinarity. We briefly explicate how complexity triggers interdisciplinarity. In Part 2, we apply these distinctions to philosophy of science and analyze in which sense different styles of philosophy of science are interdisciplinary. The styles that we discuss are a synoptic-general, a reflective-general, a reflective-particular, a particular-embedded, and a descriptive or normative style.