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It has been made very clear to me that one of the reasons that I have sometimes been able to talk about, say, economics to engineers, or political theory to the two other disciplines, and receive an interested audience, is that they continue to see me as, at least to some extent, ‘one of them’, to whom a measure of loyalty and trust is due (...).

There most certainly are urgent needs for tolerant cooperation and productive discours among the great scientific disciplines of contemporary civilization. This is very clear to us when we attempt to deal with the pressing issues which that civilization, and those cultures of knowledge, and let us be sure, of ignorance, have themselves brought upon us. But there is lacking at present a widespread, stable and influential basis for a shared identity of inter-, let alone trans-, disciplinarity. We have to start by expanding our disciplinary communities into more cosmopolitan cultures. It is my argument that we should approach this through the encouragement of mutually respectful processes of both reflection and understanding.

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