Interdisciplinary Studies and Philosophy

This project examines the relationship between interdisciplinary studies and the theoretical analysis of philosophy or what can be called Metaphilosophy. I ask whether the emergence of interdisciplinary studies helps to advance the discipline of philosophy or conversely poses a challenge to it. This project will address that question in three correlated sections. The first section examines philosophy as an academic field of study and argues for the necessity of protecting its identity as an independent discipline. I make the case that for philosophy to maintain its independence, it is necessary to define and emphasize its “particularities” and “differences.” The second section briefly reviews the history of as well as the main subjects of analysis within Interdisciplinary Studies. Building on arguments presented in the first and second sections, the final section contends that interdisciplinary analysis poses a particular threat to the discipline of philosophy. I will argue that unless the discipline of philosophy formulates a response to the advancement of other disciplines into the realm of its subject matter, the essence of philosophy may be gradually reduced to some sort of historical narration of ideas. To avoid this destiny, the discipline must first re-evaluate its own essence and nature, then define its subject matter and identify methods that are suitable to its essence and subject of study. Through this effort, philosophy as a discipline can go beyond itself, maintain its independence, and meet the challenges posed by interdisciplinary studies.