Archives For Emma Craddock

Author Information: Frank Scalambrino, University of Dallas,; Adam Riggio, McMaster University,; Emma Craddock, University of Nottingham,; Susan Dieleman, Dalhousie University,

Scalambrino, Frank, Adam Riggio, Emma Craddock and Susan Dieleman. “The Future of the Enlightenment?” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 4, no. 2 (2015): 33-36.

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Image credit: HarperCollins

Enlightenment 2.0
Joseph Heath
336 pp.

Frank Scalambrino

This book is easy to read. Heath’s references range from popular figures like Stephen Colbert to the results of sophisticated science experiments. Heath sees his book as responding to “the problem that sparked the initial demand for a return to reason,” and he characterizes that problem as “the epidemic of craziness that seems to have swept over the American political landscape” (335). Heath begins with a diagnosis of contemporary American society, culture and politics in which he criticizes both conservatives and liberals. His diagnosis, in general, correctly identifies an overly subjective and irrational politics emanating from, and supported by, today’s psychologists and contemporary psychology (9 and 19). He correctly locates the origin of such thinking in the “vulgar romanticism” (113) of Sigmund Freud, specifically the Freudian attribution of agency to “The Unconscious” (37). We are reminded how Freud referred to his bringing of psychoanalysis to America; he believed he was bringing us a “plague.”  Continue Reading…

Author Information: Stephen Frosh, Birkbeck College, University of London,, Web Page

Frosh, Stephen. 2013. “Falling into the Gaps.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (2): 12-15.

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Please refer to: Emma Craddock “Reflections on the interdisciplinarity project: A response to an interview with Carl Mitcham and a keynote address by Stephen Frosh.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (1): 1-4, 2012.

I am grateful to Emma Craddock for the space she has given to reflecting some of my views in her commentary on interdisciplinarity. What strikes me about her piece is the very positive and grounded way in which she seeks to find value in the interdisciplinary projects she has encountered. These include some training experiences that may have fallen short of their hopes, but nevertheless represent active attempts to reach across disciplinary boundaries and enrich students’ understanding particularly of methodological issues relevant to their fields.

I am appreciative of Emma’s ability to hold together a critical awareness of the difficulties and ideological assumptions of the interdisciplinary project, alongside a pragmatic wish to find ways of working with others and to remain alert to the range of theoretical and methodological perspectives that might be used to frame any particular research project. In this context, the argument that she references from my paper about interdisciplinarity being related to a fantasy of completeness (the unattainable ambition to create a “theory of everything”) is perhaps less important to her than the ‘however’ clause that she inserts when describing this view. “However,” she writes, “I would argue that the interdisciplinary project should be a relational one, rather than one which seeks to attain an all-encompassing theory of knowledge. Indeed, I believe in encouraging and fostering relationships between and across disciplines by immersing oneself within disciplines other than your own (of course, without losing your roots within your ‘home’ discipline). Building relationships between and among disciplines may be the best way forward in the current academic culture and a step towards avoiding falling into the gaps between disciplines when attempting interdisciplinarity. My own experience suggests as much” (2). I think there is some slippage here, between a genuine “however” argument that it is possible to develop a ‘relational’ model of interdisciplinarity and a stronger assertion that such relationships might prevent researchers ‘falling into the gaps between disciplines.’ I might accept that a relational approach is possible and advantageous (though I would prefer simply to call it ‘cooperative’) but not agree that it can have the effect Emma hopes for. Specifically, I think the language of ownership in her remarks (“disciplines other than your own”; “without losing your roots within your ‘home’ discipline” emphases added) reveals a retreat into disciplinarity rather than a genuine focus on the ‘inter’. This retreat is very familiar; it is produced both by the processes of academic socialisation and by the anxiety of ‘falling’ that Emma also indexes. When in danger of falling into gaps, people characteristically cling onto whatever feels like their home ground. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Emma Craddock, University of Nottingham, SERRC,

Craddock, Emma. 2012. Reflections on the interdisciplinarity project: A response to an interview with Carl Mitcham and a keynote address by Stephen Frosh. Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 2 (1): 1-4

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Carl Mitcham notes how we need to “raise the concept of interdisciplinarity for greater thematisation … for further reflection”.[1] I hope to contribute to this aim in the following piece. I explore the challenges that interdisciplinary work poses, alongside possible solutions to such problems, by reflecting upon an address by Stephen Frosh alongside the interview exchange with Carl Mitcham and my own experiences.

As a graduate student exploring interdisciplinary practice what strikes me on reading the interview with Mitcham is that interdisciplinarity’s appeal — spanning across disciplines and boundaries — may lend its demise. Whilst many aspects of interdisciplinarity certainly have merit, the worry surrounding interdisciplinary studies seems precisely that they are not tied to a particular discipline. Mitcham refers to the importance of crossing boundaries, but the risk of doing so is that one falls into the gaps between disciplines — an academic no man’s land. Indeed, Frosh argues that once we leave the safety of our disciplines “we lay ourselves open to the problems faced by all amateurs and migrants: we do not really belong anywhere; we have no safe space to stand upon”.

As Stephen Frosh stated in his keynote address at the Enquire conference this year, “Disciplines are reassuring things”.[2] Boundaries allow us to organise knowledge in a particular, ‘tidy’ way. Furthermore, they provide us with a sense of belonging, of knowing who we are as academics and where we fit in. Indeed, disciplines are comforting things, offering containment. However, as Frosh rightly points out, the downside of this is that we are also constrained. Indeed, the interview with Mitcham highlights the need to sometimes step outside of the boundaries of a discipline in order to achieve a greater understanding of it and to address particular issues. Continue Reading…

Author Information: Gregory Sandstrom, Lithuanian University of Educational Sciences, , Thomas Basbøll, Independent Scholar, Copenhagen, Denmark,, Emma Craddock, University of Nottingham, , and Eric O. Scott, George Mason University,

Sandstrom, Gregory, Thomas Basbøll, Emma Craddock and Eric O. Scott. 2012. “Intelligent design as social epistemology: Collective judgment forum.” Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 1 (7): 1-11.

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“There is a sociological dimension to science and to the prospering [or failure] of scientific theories.” – William Dembski (2002)

“[N]ot every statement by a scientist is a scientific statement.” – Michael Behe (2005)

To consider intelligent design (ID) as social epistemology (SE), we will look at those elements related to it that are social, or collective or group-oriented.

The 1993 meeting in Pajaro Dunes, California organised by Phillip Johnson with 14 participants set the stage for an “intelligent design movement” (IDM) of scientists, scholars, activists and PR-figures that oppose neo-Darwinian evolutionary theories and the ideology of naturalism. As Stephen C. Meyer writes: “At Pajaro Dunes, ‘the movement’ congealed.” (2008, 229) Paul Nelson suggests that a “person is welcome to join the community [IDM]. The admission price is minimal: one need only allow for the possibility of design.” (original emphasis, 2005) Continue Reading…