Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy

, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp 53–61 | Cite as

Foundations of interdisciplinarity: A Lonergan perspective

  • Russell J. Sawa
Scientific Contribution


The postmodern enterprise, with its foundationlessness, fragmentariness, constructivism, and neopragmatism challenges interdisciplinarity. This paper discusses functional specialization and interdisciplinary method which provides a basis for interdisciplinary collaboration. In functional specialization, successive stages in the process of coming to know are distinguished. These stages correspond to Lonergan’s four levels of consciousness, namely experiencing the data, coming to understanding through addressing questions which arise from the data, and judgment about which hypothesis best fits the data. Authenticity, which involves genuine attentiveness, intelligence, reasonableness, and responsibility, guides the appropriate attitude in interdisciplinary work.


authenticity consciousness field specialization functional specialization interdisciplinarity Lonergan postmodernism transcendental method 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Calgary Medical Clinic - SundridgeCalgaryCanada

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