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[Xmca-l] Re: Interdisciplinarity and Transdisciplinarity
I have had similar thoughts, David.
The Dept of Communication we set up after I came to UCSD is referred to as
an "inter-disciplinary department." I much preferred to (and prefer to,
although my day for influencing
such matters is well past) refer to our task as building an "inter
discipline." I thought that perhaps mediation could serve as a unifying
did you mean to say we should declare applied linguistics as the concept
home of chat and focus on a natural language semantics? Or is there a trans
disciplinary description that includes applied linguistics and natural
language semantics but perhaps has other contributing streams of thought as
right now cultural neurobiology seems to promoting itself as a
transdiscipline that is treads on chat.
For fun I wondered about the following from your note:
"culture and history (where I take one is product and
the other process)."
Which is which?
Maybe a mobius strip?
On Sun, Feb 22, 2015 at 2:06 PM, David Kellogg <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> CHAT has been variously described as “multi-disciplinary” or
> “inter-disciplinary”. It seems to me that this formulation has left
> undefined the depth and nature of interaction between disciplines and above
> all between CHAT on the one hand and discipline-based praxis on the other.
> There's a similar problem in applied linguistics that might help. After
> Dell Hymes's critique of Chomsky, and of the separation of competence from
> performance, applied linguists more or less rejected the idea of the "ideal
> native speaker/hearer in a homogeneous speech community who knows his
> language perfectly". We all tried to include “real world problems” in our
> linguistics instead, and this meant including the other disciplines which
> have grown up around those problems: foreign language teaching,
> lexicography, and discourse analysis.
> Then Widdowson distinguished between a disciplinary “linguistics applied”,
> where linguistic theory is simply applied to problems like forensics or
> compiling computer corpora, and a more multi-disciplinary “applied
> linguistics” where the relevance of linguistic insights to problems must be
> mediated along with that of other disciplines, as we must in language
> For some purposes, that may not be a bad thing. In fact, the term "applied
> linguistics" seems to suggest a many-splendored technology rather than a
> unified and unifying scientific theory. Not so with CHAT, which begins with
> the linked notions of culture and history (where I take one is product and
> the other process) and ends with theory. Theory suggests something rather
> more conceptual than complexive.
> Halliday argues that terms like “multi-disciplinary” and
> “inter-disciplinary” imply that the real work, or the “locus of activity”,
> still belongs in the disciplines themselves, and that a multi-disciplinary
> approach is essentially a matter of bridge-building, assembling various
> disciplines into what we might call a complex, that is, a grouping of
> disciplines which is complex by virtue of its many parts and highly diverse
> Instead, Halliday proposes a much more conceptually unified perspective he
> calls “transdisciplinary”, with an orientation “outwards” towards
> discipline-transcendent themes rather than “inwards” towards
> discipline-specific content. These different unifying themes have emerged
> at different moments in intellectual history.
> The earliest to emerge was mathematics which helped to unite the various
> branches of “natural philosophy” into physics in the seventeenth century,
> while in the nineteenth century the theme of evolution united the study of
> botany, zoology, economics and eventually, through cosmological enquiry,
> even geology, physics and chemistry were annexed to the genetic approach.
> In the twentieth century, “structure” emerged as a theme uniting all of the
> above to psychology, sociology, and anthropology. Today, according to
> Halliday, the emerging theme seems to be the science of meaning.
> It seems to me that the historical and cultural strands explain very well
> how the strands of CHAT came together in the last century. But maybe an
> applied linguistic engagement with natural language semantics in this
> century can provide CHAT an opportunity to participate in and perhaps even
> lead the transdisciplinary project.
> David Kellogg
> Hankuk University of Foreign Studies
It is the dilemma of psychology to deal as a natural science with an object
that creates history. Ernst Boesch.