A French version of this post is available
What are the core arguments that critics of interdisciplinarity employ? Which of these criticisms can help to clarify what interdisciplinarity is and what it isn’t?
While some of the criticisms of interdisciplinarity stem from a general misunderstanding of its purpose or from a bad experience, others seem well-founded. Thus, while some must be rejected, others should be accepted.
I outline five different types of criticisms drawn from three main sources: (1) academic writings (see reference list), (2) an empirical survey on interdisciplinarity (Sauzet 2017) (3) informal discussions. These criticisms extend the ideas presented in an earlier blog post, Why We Should Not Ignore Interdisciplinarity’s Critics by Rick Szostak. I reflect on how interdisciplinarity could be improved by attending to key criticisms.