Letter/Observer Forum

Interdisciplinarity

For at least a couple of reasons, APS is to be commended for devoting attention, and Observer space, to various issues surrounding interdisciplinary inquiry (Elizabeth Phillips, “Beyond the Department: An Organizational Model for Interdisciplinarity”, Observer, Vol. 26, No. 2 February, 2013). First, such discussion is consistent with, and could be reciprocally connected to, an ever-expanding wave of national and international innovation — substantive and institutional — in the realm of “ID/TD” = Inter/Trans-Disciplinarity (among many sources: Frodeman et al., 2010; Kessel, Rosenfield, & Anderson, 2008).

Second, it’s worth noting, even emphasizing, that the view of “Psychology [as] inherently interdisciplinary” (Phillips’ opening sentence) was anticipated — at a time when the idea was far from fashionable — by late APS Fellow Sigmund Koch (Finkelman and Kessel, 1999; Kessel & Finkelman, 2001). I suggest that Koch’s articulation and analysis of “The Psychological Studies” — presented with characteristic acuity and rich rhetorical style — can and should be one significant starting point for how we bring such a cross-boundaries vision to vibrant and sustainable life.

-Frank Kessel

APS Fellow

The University of New Mexico

kesfam@pdq.net

 

 


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