By Koen DePryck
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Extra resources for Knowledge, Evolution, and Paradox: The Ontology of Language
When one closely reads their editorial of the first issue of the journal, it becomes clear that they see interdisciplinarity as a technique, or rather as the application in history of techniques that originated in other disciplines. "The questions previously unasked" turn out to be questions that could not be answered before because the tools to do so were not available. Consequently, Rabb and Rotberg solicited contributions focusing on the use of chemical analysis, economic models, statistics, genetic research, and so forth.
Previous page page_18 next page > Page 18 mathematician. Heisenberg recalls that during their meeting, Lindemann asked him what books he had recently been reading. Heisenberg mentioned Weyl's Space, Time, and Matter. While the professor's dogwho considered Heisenberg as an intruder in the domain of his masterkept up his yapping, Lindemann told Heisenberg that in that case he was completely lost to mathematics. That was the end of his interest. 1 The rigid, protective structure of disciplines maintained in universities, libraries, and other highly valued places is more important than the anecdotic value of Heisenberg's amusing recollection may suggest.
However, it should also be clear that interdisciplinarity is not a necessary consequence of multidisciplinarity. In 1982, Rabb and Rotberg published The New History. The book contains the results of a series of questions they presented to a diverse collection of leading scholars gathered at the Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio, Italy, in 1980exactly ten years after they founded The Journal of Interdisciplinary History. The questions raised there, however, were still fundamentally the same as those raised in the first editorial of the journal.