Aleksandr M. Dorozhkin
National Research Lobachevsky State University of Nizhni Novgorod
Philosopher as a mediator
Abstract. This paper aims to analyze some difficulties encountered during the interdisciplinary practices in the production of new scientific knowledge. The major one is the problem of understanding, viewed in terms of forming a shared language and a communication environment, and, as a result, a choice of a mediator. These questions involve considering the concepts of the “trading zone” (Peter Galison) and the “interactional expertise” (Harry Collins and Richard Evans). The author estimates the trend in obtaining several higher educations (a so-called “multi-specialist”) as hardly facilitating successful trading zones, particularly, if the areas of study are distant (a “physicist-lawyer”). Such practices are described in terms of the “imposed rationality”. Along with it, the author problematizes the efficacy of an interpreter between different scientific subcultures (Collins, Evans). As a more productive alternative, he considers a shared communication environment and a relevant mediator to “encourage” its functioning. Contemplating on the figures of a possible mediator, the author suggests the philosopher and discusses their peculiarities in such a capacity. At this point, he also regards several conceptions connected to the mediating role of philosophy, such as the views of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries German thinkers Wilhelm Dilthey and Wilhelm Wundt; also modern trends and ideas: philosophical counseling, “philosophy as interdisciplinarity” (Steve Fuller), epistemic analysis within the participation of philosophers in interdisciplinary projects (Nancy Tuana). The author depicts a variety of obstacles awaiting the philosophy in such a mediation..
Keywords: communication, intermediation, mediator, imposed rationality, trading zone, shared language, interdisciplinarity.
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