[Humanist] 23.470 taking a stand, having a view?
Humanist Discussion Group
willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Mon Nov 30 08:02:04 CET 2009
Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 23, No. 470.
Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
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Date: Mon, 30 Nov 2009 07:00:55 +0000
From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk>
Subject: a discipline with a view
The English literary critic I. A. Richards regarded philosophy as "the
over-all name nowadays of the diplomatic agency which endeavors to keep
studies in some touch with one another" and deployed a philosophical
perspective to argue against the dream of "intellectual world conquest",
for example on the part of linguistics and behaviourism ("Communication
between Men: The Meaning of Language", in Cybernetics/Kybernetik, ed.
Pias). In the first essay published in Speculative Instruments (1955),
"Notes toward an agreement between literary criticism and some of the
sciences", he writes in this diplomatic mode to consider the objections
each side has against the other. What interests me in particular are not
the objections as such but his standing point from the outside the
We in humanities computing have just such a perspective by virtue of our
transdisciplinary methodological concerns. Hence my interest in others
who have shared similar vantage points.
Who else has written in this way? Writings on the abstract idea of
interdisciplinarity go on tiresomely at great length about what it is,
distinguishing it from multidisciplinarity, transdisciplinarity etc etc.
Our concern, it seems to me, is how actually to *do* it, and I think
that we get further than Richards' diplomacy aims to do. But his
standing point does provide the first step.
So, again my question: who else has written like this?
Willard McCarty, Professor of Humanities Computing,
King's College London, staff.cch.kcl.ac.uk/~wmccarty/;
Editor, Humanist, www.digitalhumanities.org/humanist;
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, www.isr-journal.org.
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