Title of knowledge and allow for different perspectives. Natural

Title 1: “The fields of study of academic disciplines can overlap, but adopting interdisciplinary approaches to the production of knowledge leads only to confusion.” Discuss this claim. When looking at the title: “The fields of study of academic disciplines can overlap, but adopting interdisciplinary approaches to the production of knowledge leads only to confusion,” I was intrigued by what the question was asking, but confused by two of the terms in the title; these being: academic disciplines and  interdisciplinary. Through research, I have defined academic disciplines as: an established academic subject and interdisciplinary as: relating to more than one branch of knowledge. The knowledge question that I have extracted from this title is: can knowledge be produced with interdisciplinary approaches? I am curious to investigate the claim. This essay will focus on using interdisciplinary approaches when studying academic disciplines.  After studying the title, what it could be implying, and the possible sides to the claim, I disagree with the claim and believe that interdisciplinary approaches lead to a production of knowledge and allow for different perspectives.  Natural Sciences and Human Sciences, when combined into an interdisciplinary approach, can be seen as a way to gain and produce knowledge; together, they use reason to construct new information.  This as well as History and The Arts can be seen as as a way of gaining and producing knowledge by using language.     When used to build off of eachother, Natural Sciences and Human Sciences can be seen as a way to produce knowledge.  Natural Sciences can be defined as “a branch of science that deals with the physical world, e.g., physics, chemistry, geology, and biology,” and Human Sciences “corresponds to humanities and social sciences, but also includes aspects of psychology and even mathematics, as one of the key things we are concerned with is how we gather information in our study of human behaviour.” Already, by just looking at the definitions, one can see overlap between psychology and mathematics, and biology and chemistry.  When studying the Natural and Human Sciences, it would make sense that there would be overlap due to the fact that they cover a number of areas.  Richard Thaler, an American economist, helped the world be able to predict and explain human behavior by fusing neuroscience, psychology, and economics.  Thaler’s curiosity behind the reasoning for why humans react the way they do, led to a discovery and production of new knowledge in the science field. For a number of years “the idea that psychological research should even be part of economics has generated hostility for years” (Another Nobel Surprise For Economics). This comment is proof that people in the world of economics were not keen on the idea of fusing two academic disciplines together.  But, Richard Thaler disagreed with this concern and combined these academic disciplines as well as neuroscience, and by taking this risk, he allowed us be able to understand human behavior to a greater extent. By combining the academic disciplines together, Thaler allowed the science world a clear reason and understanding as to why humans behave the way they do.  Reasoning behind not wanting to combine academic disciplines is valid, but- by combining- has actually lead to a larger production of knowledge than before. The interdisciplinary approach has allowed for the production of new knowledge in different areas of knowing.     Sciences are not the only areas of knowledge that allow for the production of knowledge. History and The Arts is another example of an interdisciplinary approach allowing for a production of knowledge by using language.  Generally speaking, one would not see history and the arts of having any relation, but in fact, when building off each other lead to new perspectives. When I look at history, the Holocaust is an event that I see using an interdisciplinary approach. Defined as a “mass murder of Jews under the German Nazi regime during the period 1941–45,” the Holocaust was a time of suffering (Holocaust Encyclopedia).  I was first introduced to the event at quite a young age through school by reading about it in my history book. The language that I was reading never really sunk in. When I read about it, I was confused on why it had happened.  I didn’t understand how a group of people could murderer so many innocent people. I could try to read about the experiences that the survivors had, but just through reading, I was never able to understand the magnitude of the event. It was not until I was able to visit the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. that I was able to grasp the extent at which these people suffered.  When walking through the museum, I was appalled at what I was seeing.  Especially when walking through the parts of the museum where the Holocaust was represented through pictures, objects, and voices, I was able to process and learn more about The Holocaust. By using the history behind the happening as well as using artifacts, books, narrated voices, I was able to understand the event to a larger event. The Holocaust is personally important to me because my great uncle Walter Ziffer is a Holocaust survivor himself, so learning about this event to the deepest extent was something I had my mind set on doing.  Ziffer, still with us today, is a famous speaker as well as an author. He uses his traumatic experience to teach.  He talks to schools around the country and speaks professionally to help people understand the devastation he faced.  Ziffer uses an interdisciplinary approach to teach his audiences.  He uses the history of the event, as well as the book he has written, pictures, and videos to allow for the group he is speaking to to have a number of perspectives.  By allowing people to have new way of looking at The Holocaust, one can produce new knowledge on the topic.      Although there is a large pool of evidence that supports that interdisciplinary approaches allow for the production of knowledge and clear up some confusion, that is not always the case. Science and religion being combined into an interdisciplinary approach poses a counterclaim to what I agree with.  Science and religion are very different  areas of knowledge to begin with.  Science is an area of knowledge that is based a lot on evidence, facts, and reasoning behind what is being studied.  Scientists go to great lengths to prove beliefs and facts that are known to be true.  Religion, on the other hand, is based solely on belief in the unknown. When believing in a religion, one is put in the situation of choosing to believe in the unknown and what they cannot see.  The most controversial argument in the science vs. religion battle is the question of: where did the earth come from? I personally ask myself this question quite often. I am a part of the Christian religion, but am very open to understanding the other theory of how the earth came to be.  I wonder what actually happened, look at what I have been provided with, and try to form a personal opinion to the question. Currently, the most well known theory that scientists have come up with to this question is the Big Bang Theory.  The Big Bang Theory states that “the universe originated in an enormous explosion” (Big Bang). Though, religious scholars have a different answer to that question.  Every religion has a slightly different interpretation as to how the world was created, but all state somewhere that the world was created by some type of higher power or God.  These two theories differ greatly; therefore, using one to help support the other does not align due to the fact that the statements are contradictory.  Both theories challenge the others stance, leading to confusion and disagreement.  Although disagreement and confusion are not bad things, they do not lead to a production of knowledge, but instead challenges what the other believes.  The two areas of knowing are very contradictory to one another as the science theory is built off of facts and proof, while the the religious theory is built on people believing what they cannot see. Although these two areas of knowledge can build on each other to an extent, the two cause more confusion than any production of knowledge.     The idea of using an interdisciplinary approach to gaining knowledge is insightful.  For one to explore a topic of interest, using more than just one academic study is essentially required to understand the topic to the greatest depth. Using ways of knowing: reason and language to dissect academic studies, one is able to understand information and veere away from confusion due to the depth of information they are provided with.  The idea of using interdisciplinary approaches to study academic disciples is extremely important for one’s education. By looking at multiple viewpoints, different literature pieces, textbook evidence, etc. one is able to gain insight into different perspectives. This allows one’s education to grow and deepen as they have looked at more than just one academic study.  In terms of the title itself, I feel as if I was only able to explore the surface of the title in the space that was allowed.  I faced limitations when writing, trying to choose a large selection of information, but trying to have it be as concise as possible. But in such a small space, one can only include so much.  Although the essay was short, getting the chance to explore the idea of using the interdisciplinary approaches was very interesting and definitely opened my eyes to looking at more than just one discipline to gain and produce knowledge on a topic. I have concluded that it does not lead to confusion, but produces knowledge.  (1585)