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As an example, some body of knowledge can develop only so much before it's development stagnates and it requires other bodies of knowledge to develop.

As a weird analogy, the concept(s) I am inquiring for is essentially an abstract version of Liebig's Law of the Minimum ("growth is dictated not by total resources available, but by the scarcest resource", "yield is proportional to the amount of the most limiting nutrient, whichever nutrient it may be.").

Other related concepts include:

  • Post Structuralism: which argues that all knowledge is referential, because everything is known in reference to some other knowledge, not measured against a universal "truth".
  • Law of Diminishing Returns: "states that, at some point, adding an additional factor of production results in smaller increases in output."
  • Foundationalism, in a round-about way, technically answers this. As succinctly put by the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, "the dependence seems to be inferential in nature: in each case, I justifiably believe the former only because I have inferred it, or at least am readily able to infer it, from the latter." I analogize this to the nature of how philosophy is called the fundamental body of knowledge from which everything else branches off of [1, 2, 3] (if you know of better diagrams, do comment them!). If you take such a reductionist approach, eventually you will have similar fundamental beliefs from which you can branch off to different bodies of knowledge. The issue with this concept is that it examines how preceding/former beliefs influence bodies of knowledge. The question, however, is posed more so of how the following/latter beliefs of each body of knowledge influence each other.

To clarify, addressing linguistic semantics, it seems the word "development" would best fit the subject of the question over "growth" or "progress". I am also, of course, asking for some theories or concepts that address this question, so the question could instead read "In what ways do different...". Anything similar even partially within the confines of this question would be greatly appreciated.

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    The effect is known as diminishing returns in economics, but the problem with the generality you suggest is that it is very murky what it means for parts of society or aspects of life to "progress". The idea is useful only in special contexts where resources and "progress" can be quantified. See also cost-benefit analysis. – Conifold Apr 25 at 9:35
  • Noted, I have specified the question in the meantime @Conifold – Holiday_Chemistry Apr 26 at 6:39
  • See Atlantic's Is Science Stagnant?:"It’s surprisingly difficult to measure scientific progress in meaningful ways. Part of the trouble is that it’s hard to accurately evaluate how important any given scientific discovery is." But they do suggest diminishing returns based on subjective eyeballing. – Conifold Apr 26 at 7:14

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