Document Type : Original Research Paper


Institute for Social & Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran.


It seems that the focus and emphasis on discipline and interdiscipline in the area of knowledge and episteme has a link to the knowledge classification and social and cultural relations of knowledge. The history of knowledge classification shows that the classification criteria are either ontological and moral or methodological and epistemological. The ontological basis is on the fact that existence is hierarchical; moral basis also depends on the amount of effectiveness and usefulness of the knowledge in providing the needs of practical life in individual or social dimensions. Contrarily, methodological basis is formed on the fact that methods for discovering the truth and proving the correct viewpoint are very various. Therefore, method of episteme acquisition in some knowledge is considered different and more complete than others. Similarly, any field of knowledge based on epistemologyhas emphasized on the truth system. The fact that which criterion should be used for knowledge classification also determines the knowledge owners’ trend towards discipline or interdiscipline. Considering this differentiation, “interdisciplinary” in the first instance has been brought up according to the moral and methodological basis and, contrarily, “discipline” has been obtained according to the methodological and epistemological basis. In the modern age, “discipline” has become the base of education and research due to the domination of the classification resulted from the method and truth criteria. But because of the shortcomings found in these criteria, once again ontological and moral criteria and consequently interdisciplinary came into consideration. Fluidity in the “method” criterion – as a means of classifying the knowledge -- has challenged the current boundaries, and taking into account the usefulness of knowledge for problem solving promises interdisciplinary collaborations in the future. Thus, this research studies this issue.