Borrowed Knowledge: Chaos Theory and the Challenge of Learning across Disciplines

Borrowed Knowledge: Chaos Theory and the Challenge of Learning across Disciplines

by Stephen H. Kellert

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Overview

What happens to scientific knowledge when researchers outside the natural sciences bring elements of the latest trend across disciplinary boundaries for their own purposes? Researchers in fields from anthropology to family therapy and traffic planning employ the concepts, methods, and results of chaos theory to harness the disciplinary prestige of the natural sciences, to motivate methodological change or conceptual reorganization within their home discipline, and to justify public policies and aesthetic judgments.
Using the recent explosion in the use (and abuse) of chaos theory, Borrowed Knowledge and the Challenge of Learning across Disciplines examines the relationship between science and other disciplines as well as the place of scientific knowledge within our broader culture. Stephen H. Kellert’s detailed investigation of the myriad uses of chaos theory reveals serious problems that can arise in the interchange between science and other knowledge-making pursuits, as well as opportunities for constructive interchange. By engaging with recent debates about interdisciplinary research, Kellert contributes a theoretical vocabulary and a set of critical frameworks for the rigorous examination of borrowing.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226429809
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 05/15/2009
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 361 KB

About the Author

Stephen H. Kellert is professor of philosophy at Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

1          What Was Chaos Theory, and Why Would People Want to Borrow It?
2          Disciplinary Pluralism
3          The Rhetorical Functions of Borrowing and the Uses of Disciplinary Prestige
4          Motivating Methodological Change
5          Metaphorical Chaos
6          How to Criticize a Metaphor
7          Facts, Values, and Intervention
8          Beautiful Chaos?
9          Postmodern Chaos and the Challenge of Pluralism
           
           Works Cited
            Index

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