Philosopher as a mediator

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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