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November 1969

Toward a Unity of Knowledge: Psychological Issues (vol 6, No. 2, Monograph 22).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(5):631. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740230119017

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Increasing concern with the progressive compartmentalization and fragmentation of human knowledge, and the attendant alienation of man, has led to numerous interdisciplinary attempts to reassemble Humpty Dumpty. The present monograph consists of a selection of formal papers and discussions from the first meeting of the Study Group on Foundations of Cultural Unity held at Bowdoin College in 1965. The group was composed of distinguished scholars from various disciplines ranging from theoretical physics and biology through the arts, humanities, and philosophy.

Though presented at a moderately high level of abstraction, understanding is facilitated by the limitation of specialty jargon and a concerted attempt to eliminate the barriers of communication between disciplines. Nonetheless, a prerequisite for responsiveness by the reader to the over-all purpose of the proceedings is some degree of frustration and disillusionment with the limitations and confinement of his given field of practice.

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