Collaboration, interdisciplinarity, and the epistemology of contemporary science

Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:1-10 (2016)
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Over the last decades, science has grown increasingly collaborative and interdisciplinary and has come to depart in important ways from the classical analyses of the development of science that were developed by historically inclined philosophers of science half a century ago. In this paper, I shall provide a new account of the structure and development of contemporary science based on analyses of, first, cognitive resources and their relations to domains, and second of the distribution of cognitive resources among collaborators and the epistemic dependence that this distribution implies. On this background I shall describe different ideal types of research activities and analyze how they differ. Finally, analyzing values that drive science towards different kinds of research activities, I shall sketch the main mechanisms underlying the perceived tension between disciplines and interdisciplinarity and argue for a redefinition of accountability and quality control for interdisciplinary and collaborative science

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Hanne Andersen
University of Copenhagen


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