Interdisciplinarity and Laminated Systems
Two years before Roy Bhaskar’s death, we met to prepare a proposal to a funding agency to conduct an empirical piece of research and we recorded the conversation. This conversation touched on a number of important issues relating to critical realism and its applications in real life. In particular, we focused on the possibility of doing empirical work in the field. The text below is an account of the conceptual framework that we eventually adopted, and it is focused on issues central to the development of a theory of education : interdisciplinarity , laminated systems , anti-reductionism, and the possibility of providing a bridge to allow us to make a connection between knowing and being . The existing literature on interdisciplinary research is overwhelmingly epistemologically slanted. Typically absent from it is any discussion about what there is in and about the world that makes interdisciplinarity possible and necessary. On the basis of a much fuller and more comprehensive account of interdisciplinarity than has hitherto been available, this chapter is able to disambiguate and identify barriers or inhibitors on interdisciplinarity which stem from ontological, as well as epistemological, features of the context of interdisciplinary research teams.