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Andrej Démuth
Slávka Démuthová

Problems of interdisciplinarity (metaphysical and methodological issues)

  • language: English


The authors of the study focus their attention on some metaphysical and epistemological aspects of cognitive science which is the typical example of an interdisciplinary approach in philosophy.

The first problem discussed is the question of compatibility of methods. Many philosophers trust in one reality only. They believe that certain sciences reveal some aspects of this reality. We can see more of reality from a variety of aspects by using different methods. This (Platonic) point of view supposes that all research methods are compatible as they explore the only one reality. Another group of thinkers confirms that background of explanation and methods used determine the object of research. They show that method of research has a great influence on what we can see. The method can be understood by metaphor of optic: it shows us something and at the same time it hides other aspects from our view. The first problem is thus whether we can combine the variety of methods if they possibly show different realities.

Relevance of the first mentioned problem lies in the question of constitution (creation) or revelation of objects. The classical point of view assumes that an object of research exists even without research while constructivism affirms that an object is generated by research. It means that different sciences analyze different objects.

The consequence of this idea points to a problem of the first and the third person standpoints. Phenomenology of mind needs to use the subjective approach from the first person standpoint with introspection and qualia. The scientific approach prefers objective language and research of the brain (not mind), without possibility to explain qualia. Is it then ever possible to get over difficulties emerging from the explanatory gap? Is there only one cognitive science exploring all problems of cognition or is the problem of cognition the subject of research of various sciences?