This short comment on Mark White’s comment on the relationship of economics and ethics focuses on the nature of economics and ethics as an emergent field of investigation. It discusses different types of between-discipline fields, and compares crossdisciplinary and transdisciplinary interpretations of economics and ethics. The ‘domestication’ thesis associated with borrowing across disciplines is examined in terms of the idea of a metaphorical transfers. Institutional constraints on between-discipline developments are evaluated relative to increasing specialization within and across disciplines. The transdisciplinary interpretation of economics and ethics is given a complexity theory explanation.