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Understanding Human Dignity$
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Christopher McCrudden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780197265642

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197265642.001.0001

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Dignified Disciplinarity: Towards a Transdisciplinary Understanding of Human Dignity

Dignified Disciplinarity: Towards a Transdisciplinary Understanding of Human Dignity

(p.649) 39 Dignified Disciplinarity: Towards a Transdisciplinary Understanding of Human Dignity
Understanding Human Dignity

Alexandra Kemmerer

British Academy

‘Interdisciplinarity’ has (finally) also in the legal field become a buzzword, attracting funders and scholars alike. Yet, conceptually and methodologically, the term remains often obscure and ambiguous—not unlike the concept of dignity itself. That obscurity prompts a more profound inquiry into the disciplinary approaches and engagements with the concept of human dignity that we find assembled here. This chapter focuses on the possibilities (and problems) of research beyond disciplinary boundaries. After outlining a taxonomy that aims to clarify the sometimes obscure concepts of multi-, inter- and transdisciplinarity, it highlights some of the ‘learning experiences’ that the Oxford exercise provided and argues that it contributed to an experience of ‘disciplined disciplinarity’, or ‘reflexive disciplinarity’. Finally it develops the concept of ‘disciplined disciplinarity’ further, towards ‘dignified disciplinarity’, and outlines a methodological response to the challenges of new research questions and necessary innovations, but also to the pluralism behind these challenges.

Keywords:   transdisciplinarity, interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, intradisciplinarity, reflexive disciplinarity, dignified disciplinarity, concept, human dignity, methodology, pluralism, transcendence, comparison, legal scholarship

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