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interdomainal inquiry, part 3 of 4
gary e. davis
May 3, 2017

Domains can be well-defined and well-ordered (e.g., in mathematics); be well-defined, yet not well-ordered (arts); well-ordered, yet not well-defined (scientific research); or neither well-defined nor well-ordered (creative process—arts, too; and science as artistry of process). The keynote here is the relationship between well-definedness and well-orderedness, which has a “perpendicular” dimension of conception and enactivity, as both aspects of the former—well-definedness and well-orderedness—pertain to the latter, re: matters of degree in all four modes: degree of conceptual presumption in enactivity, degree of articulative enstancing in conception. A point here is that a nebulosity of “domain” may be generative, relative to analytical underdeterminants. Working with a nebulosity of domainity is not as such a lack of attention to distinctions.

The canonical kind of domain is an academic specialty which has been instituted within a sponsoring organizational domain, typically an academic department. Yet, domainal gravity may belong to a highly individuated inquirer and discursant, exemplified by authorships that become kinds of endeavor: Shakespearean, Darwinian, Deweyan, Rawlsian, etc. This variability of domain—from organizational through specialist to leading mind—might be modeled as a kind of continuity of psychaculturality (or cultural sociality) that is “perpendicular” to the other two dimensions of domainity.

So, a notion of “interdisciplinary” inquiry may be unduly limited, relative to the scale of domainity that may be in play generatively for inquiry. Nonetheless, “interdisciplinary” research is all the more important as benefactor of domainal and interdomainal innovation; and as basline landscape for [inter]domainal work (especially inasmuch as “interdisciplinarity” as such is a topic of inquiry).

In my view, a notion of leading mind is best advanced relative to a rich sense of domainal innovation, based in the centripetal character of inquiry and exploration which may accrue to groups (or sets of works) just as insightfully as to the canonical “genius.” The “estate” of centripetal Mindality that gains leading influence belongs to the path of inquiry, exploration, insightfulness, origination, articulation, and discursive conveyance, whatever the authoriality.

A peak of exploration—be it singular mind or distributed “mind”—gains fruitfulness by appropriating itself (or being appropriated) in a paradigmatic scale of practicality (which the site seeks to exemplify, in terms of “being well,” “good thinking,” “advancing community,” and weathering happenstance fruitfully: “being in Time”).

Such appropriativity has been classically understood as an integration of “theory” and practice. But the original conception of theory relative to envisioning has been largely lost to systemic meanings—or has become a nebulosity, from informal mentalization and conceiving to formal methodization. At heart, theory is born from conceptual prospecting. The “nature” of theory is conceptuality—and the nature of conceptuality is a very alive domain of academic inquiry. My prevailing interest is: How does conceptuality emerge into clarity from centripetal inquiry’s bricolagy of importances, the artist’s assemblage, the scholar’s literary regioning; then how is conceptuality the background implicature (the “spirit”) of purposeful discourse?


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