User:Evarenon/sandbox/Approaches to Knowledge/Seminar Group 3/Disciplinary Categories

Disciplinary categories edit

Discussion edit

From today’s lecture and my own research into disciplinary categories I have concluded that disciplinary categories are a human construct which uses the perceived similarities and differences of the cataloguer to assign an area of academia to a category depending on the features of this discipline and how it relates to the rest of knowledge and learning. A disciplinary category is made up of several disciplines which share particular features: ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ disciplines, ’life’ or ‘non-life’ and so on. The purpose of this indexing and categorisation is to make sense of the world of knowledge and how we learn and to establish control by satisfying the innate human desire to sort and order things into smaller groupings. This classification can have surprisingly large consequences on how we learn and perceive knowledge, it can also have negative consequences by creating tangible boundaries between disciplines which could benefit from a more fluid approach to knowledge in order to keep pace with the rapidly changing digital world. Lsythes (discusscontribs) 14:35, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Suggested readings edit

Reference and link The main argument
J. L. Borges, The Library Of Babel, 1941
Butts 1947 Classification in museums Classification and taxonomy is useful to all scientists to structure thoughts. Accurate definitions are essential. There should be a group for all things to classify and each group should be well defined.
Jansen 2007 Aristotles Categories The categories of Aristotles are still a good starting point to produce coherent and workable knowledge databases.

Aristotle’s categories can help to find our way around the internet.

Jansen on Borges taxonomy and classification Many of the mistakes that account for the comic features of this parody appear in real-life scientific databases as well
Yeo and Boman 2017 Disciplinary approaches to assessment Conceptions of teaching greatly influence how teachers assess.

Having a more nuanced understanding of the epistemological and cultural orientations of the disciplines will help to more productively consider assessment practice in particular disciplinary contexts, rather than universally in post-secondary education as a whole.

Adam and Eve's Shame (and ours), Graham Ward, Literature & Theology, Vol. 26. No. 3, September 2012, pp. 305–322 Lsythes (discusscontribs) 14:18, 9 October 2018 (UTC) The boundaries between disciplines are permeable/fluid which allows 'endless creativity' and new insights by re-examining one discipline in terms of another.
Do You See What I See? The Epistemology of Interdisciplinary Inquiry,HUGH G. PETRIE University of Illinois Lsythes (discusscontribs) 14:18, 9 October 2018 (UTC) 'A complex technological society requires interdisciplinary solutions to its problems' Interdisciplinary work requires the most competent disciplinarians for success. How we see the world is framed by our disciplines therefore we cannot always appreciate how others see things.
Sari Lindblom‐Ylänne , Keith Trigwell , Anne Nevgi & Paul Ashwin (2006) How approaches to teaching are affected by discipline and teaching context, Studies in Higher Education Lsythes (discusscontribs) 14:18, 9 October 2018 (UTC) The disciplinary categories which teachers fall into can determine their teaching styles and how they communicate knowledge to their students, this in turn impacts the student who 'tacitly learns the norms of their disciplinary culture', different academic tribes.
Hviding 2003 Between Knowledges: Pacific Studies and Academic Disciplines Interdisciplinarity (dissolving boundaries between disciplines & native and outsider views) is crucial to reach deeper understanding, particularly of the Pacific Islands, because no discipline can approach all aspects of societies conceptually. This can be achieved through learning disciplines' different approaches to knowledge (not discrete fragments of it).
Henri Bergson, Speech against specialities, 1882 Bergson argues that the universe is too vast, too complex, and that our human perspectives are too limited, are lives too short, to analyse the World through specialities. He says that, in order to reach some truth, we should always try too have the broader and most diverse approach possible, that we should connect categories. He has a very interdisciplinary point of view. He also adds that what makes Humans special from other animals is that animals are in a certain sense specialists.
Bible, Genesis 1 This isn't a paper giving an argument, but it is interesting to see how, in this explanation of the creation of the universe that didn't had nowadays scientific elements, there is a sort of category system (universe divided between light, matter, living elements... with a specific order of appearance). This is relevant as a proof of the need for humans to use categories in order to explain the universe, the need to find a logic and order even if the subject is too vast and complex for a human perspective or considering the knowledge available at a period of time.
Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison, particularly the passage called Normalizing Judgement, 1975 Michel Foucault vividly critics disciplinary categories system, comparing them with the prison system. In the passage called Normalizing Judgement, he makes the point that disciplines create norms, and that they give those norms a huge power which result in a society in which individuals' personality is limited to their speciality and the social category in which they are.
Disciplinary Categories, Majors, and Undergraduate Academic Experiences: Rethinking Bok’s ‘‘Underachieving Colleges’’ Thesis Uclqlip (discusscontribs) 09:16, 10 October 2018 (UTC) This article compares different characteristics of natural science with social science, using variables to show that differences among disciplinary categories were marginal.
10-Year Risk Estimation for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and Coronary Heart Disease in Kuwait: A Cross-Sectional Population-Based Study Uclqlip (discusscontribs) 09:19, 10 October 2018 (UTC) This article states that Kuwait estimated risks of healthcare problems though an interdisciplinary survey, addressing the significance of disciplinary categories to solve real world problems.
Shaping the Future of Sociology: The Challenge of Interdisciplinarity beyond the Social Sciences

Uclqlip (discusscontribs) 09:14, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

This article states the importance of the realities of working across diverse disciplinary boundaries, aiming at using interdisciplinary projects to address societal problems rather than merely advance the process. Also, it mentioned shape space and collaboration between different disciplinary categories .
Turning Disciplinary Knowledge into Solutions

The article argues that different disciplines working together, rather than separately, could contribute more greatly towards cancer research. (Turning theoretical knowledge into solutions). It argued that this approach is needed to “gain a holistic picture" of the issue. The article explains that despite the advances in many disciplines, progress toward affecting policy is not sufficient.
What are Academic Disciplines?

Some observations on the Disciplinarity vs. Interdisciplinarity debate

This article explains why disciplines emerged by looking at the disciplines through different perspectives. The article argues that disciplines are “under attack” and that interdisciplinarity is too anarchical. However, it concludes that interdisciplinarity could be embraced if disciplines are nurtured as the "original reference points".
Crossing boundaries: Interdisciplinarity in the context of urban environments

This article argues that many issues affecting us today, need the "integration of knowledge from a wide range of disciplines and sources”. The urban environment is one example of this. However, interdisciplinarity “should not lead to the neglect of work intra disciplines”.
Academic Work and Academic Identities: A comparison between four disciplines Focuses on academic identity and how people associate themselves with their discipline. Zooming in on especially the professors prioritization with either research or teaching, or whether they consider teaching as their research. However, there are variasbles to research, which can include funding and external demand - this tends to be a limitation to especially the Natural Sciences.
What are academic disciplines? Observations on the disciplinarity vs interdisciplinarity debate (Krishan, 2009)


This paper defines a discipline as having an object of research with specialist knowledge behind it. They have shared theories, specific terminologies, and research methods, and possibly a connection to institutional teaching. There are problems in defining disciplines, as there is not one set way to define a discipline, and the definition can vary between disciplines. For example:

1.     Philosophical perspective: disciplines are branches of knowledge that connect to the whole knowledge system

2.     Anthropological perspective: disciplines are influenced by cultures and language barriers

3.     Sociological perspective: a form of labour division with the aim to professionalise knowledge

4.     Historical perspective: societal context influences the development of a discipline

Even defining a discipline requires an interdisciplinary outlook. The argument is posed, that interdisciplinarity may have come about due to the broadening of a discipline’s knowledge field as we gather more knowledge, and may be due to the requirement for funding for research making disciplines branch out to new and possibly overlapping knowledge areas.

Practising Interdisciplinarity (Weingart and Steer, 2000)


Defines disciplines as the eyes through which society sees, learns and shapes the world. They are therefore not a reality, rather a tool that we use in order to make sense of reality. The main points made in the argument are that

disciplines have an influence on the world, they are a social construct, and that disciplines are undergoing dissolution. Different disciplines are affected by dissolution in different ways, with natural sciences being more affected than humanities, as knowledge is developing very rapidly in this area and thus links are drawn across disciplines, making the boundaries of the scientific disciplines less clear. This is because, in reality, specific 'areas' of science do not exist. Science simply acts on the world, yet we have created defined areas in order to study it more easily.

Comparison of 'Observations on the disciplinarity vs interdisciplinary debate' and 'Practising interdisciplinarity'.


On defining disciplines:    ‘Practicing Interdisciplinarity’ defines disciplines through intrinsic connection to the categoriser. They would not be, without the eyes that see the world. ‘What are academic disciplines’ on the other hand, seems to define academic disciplines as though they are a true entity, rather than a social construct, and they have groundings in logic.

On the central arguments: Both papers allude to the fact that knowledge categorisation is undergoing change in the direction of interdisciplinarity. Both suggest this is due to the broadening of our knowledge leading to overlap between knowledge areas, thus leading to the boundaries of disciplines becoming more flexible. ‘Practicing Interdisciplinarity’ explains the underlying reasons for the progression of interdisciplinarity through a more sociological perspective, with the focus being on changes in the humans that created the categories, leading to change in the categories themselves. ‘What are disciplines’ however, suggests that disciplines evolve in response to the economic and academic environment. Both are, in fact, similar arguments, as economics has an influence on social factors, and vice versa. We are the essential part of the knowledge environment and system. Evarenon (discusscontribs) 13:25, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Peltonen, Chapter 2 "Bacon's classification of knowledge", 1996, in The Cambridge Companion to Bacon Evarenon (discusscontribs) 13:30, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Leigh Van Valen, Laws in Biology and History: Structural Similarities of Academic Disciplines Guanc (discusscontribs) 20:04, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Susan E. Searing, How Libraries Cope with Interdisciplinarity: The Case of Women’s Studies Guanc (discusscontribs) 20:04, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Marlene Schommer-Aikins, Orpha K. Duell and Sue Barker, Epistemological Beliefs Across Domains Using Biglan's Classification of Academic Disciplines Guanc (discusscontribs) 20:04, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Sharachchandra Lélé, Richard B. Norgaard, Practicing Interdisciplinarity Eeshagrover (discusscontribs) 21:57, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Harris, Dianne, That's Not Architectural History! Or what's a discipline for? Eeshagrover (discusscontribs) 21:57, 9 October 2018 (UTC)

Henri Bergson, Speech against specialities, 1882 Hadrienstrichard (discusscontribs) 1:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Bible, Genesis 1 Hadrienstrichard(discusscontribs) 1:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: the birth of the prison, 1975 Hadrienstrichard(discusscontribs) 1:58, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Hugh G. Petrie, Do You See What I see? The Epistemology of Interdisciplinary Inquiry,<nowiki> University of Illinois Clozinskabrown(discusscontribs) 8:00, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Julie Thompson Klein, Integrative Learning and Interdisciplinary Studies, Wayne State University Clozinskabrown(discusscontribs) 8:00, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Steven Brint, M.Cantwell, Preeta Saxena, Disciplinary Categories, Majors, and Undergraduate Academic Experiences: Rethinking Bok's "Underachieving College" Thesis, 2012 Clozinskabrown(discusscontribs) 8:00, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

Disciplinary Categories, Majors, and Undergraduate Academic Experiences: Rethinking Bok’s “Underachieving Colleges” Thesis Uclqffb (discusscontribs) 09:01, 10 October 2018 (UTC)

The Evolution of American Scientific Fields: Disciplinary Differences Versus Institutional Isomorphism

How approaches to teaching are affected by discipline and teaching context

Hviding, Edvard. “Between Knowledges: Pacific Studies and Academic Disciplines.” The Contemporary Pacific, vol. 15, no. 1, 2003, pp. 43–73. JSTOR, JSTOR,