What is Interdisciplinary ? How is it Different from Multidisciplinary ?


  • Rajan Gurukkal Kerala State Higher Education Council




Discipline based approach to knowledge and specialization goes back to the classical Graeco-Roman times. It was Isaac Newton’s Principia, which represented academic perfection of Renaissance inquiry, criticism, creativity and theorization. Principia set the epochal model of knowledge and led to the making of the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Reason. August Comte heralded an era of Positivism in academic research and prepared the ground for the making of disciplines. As new knowledge accrued over centuries, specialization got diversified at the expense of holistic understanding. Academics of disciplinary specialization sought to resolve the problem through multidisciplinary research. Inherently discipline centric, it got further distanced from social reality. Interdisciplinary approach began as a movement through convergence research aiming to restore holistic comprehension and draw knowledge closer to social reality. It is production of knowledge beyond disciplines and across their interfaces enabling research output to be regenerative, non-conventional and resolution oriented.

Author Biography

Rajan Gurukkal, Kerala State Higher Education Council

Vice Chairman, Kerala State Higher Education Council, Kerala




How to Cite

Gurukkal, R. (2018). What is Interdisciplinary ? How is it Different from Multidisciplinary ?. Tattva Journal of Philosophy, 10(2), 15-29. https://doi.org/10.12726/tjp.20.2