Full text: Note on the Fragmentation of Disciplines

Note on the Fragmentation of Disciplines 
It has been observed by many that the social sciences 
are handicapped by, amongst other things, a reluctance 
to co-operate with each other: The disciplines are 
watertight compartments. This involves a comparative 
sterility, especially in view of the demands of 
society for the treatment and solution of certain pro 
blems which require interdisciplinary co-operation. 
It seems to me that the situation is not getting 
better, in fact, worse, since there is a tendency to 
split the traditional disciplines, like sociology 
and economics, further into equally watertight com 
partments . 
An example of this is the development of econometrics 
into a subject of its own. The need for specialisation 
can not be questioned, but the split which occured 
here is far greater than can be justified by functional 
considerations. The fact is that these two groups, 
economists and econometricians, have developped into 
closed sets which communicate very little (the jour 
nals reflect this division) and which share few 
interests. The econometricians care little for eco 
nomic policy or for the collection and careful inter

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