Knowledge And Social Construction

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Overview

What happens after some social group, a tribe, clan, or even a modern nation, agrees—either tacitly or explicitly to govern and be governed according to an idea. The United States is governed by ideas laid down in the Constitution; The former Soviet Union by both Lenin and Stalin's interpretation of Karl Marx's thought. Regardless of social group, when deciding on the form of politics that ought to govern our social world the question of "certainty" is pivotal. How can we know that this way of governing is the best way? What happens when the strength of our certainty supercedes the actual political and social consequences that arise from agreed upon forms of governance? In Knowledge and Social Construction Andrew Koch makes the case that the more hypothetical and theoretical we are towards knowledge claims (our certainty) the more open our society will be. Following from the premise that human nature and subjectivity are social constructions, this book seeks to reorient the reader—away from the ontological tradition in political philosophy and toward an epistemological framework. Through an investigation of four competing epistemological models that are used in classic political and social philosophy texts, Andrew Koch provides us with an alternative framework for understanding social arrangements, conflicts, and institutions. This book, unlike anything written recently, represents a challenge to political science, philosophy, sociology: any discipline concerned with epistemology, society, culture, and politics.

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Editorial Reviews

Perspectives On Politics
. . . compelling and valuable.
Wayne Gabardi
I think it is well conceptualized, has a high degree of originality, offers good summaries of a variety of social and political thinkers and theories, and would be relevant reading in upper level undergraduate and graduate level courses in social and political theory, the sociology of knowledge, epistemology, and philosophy of the social sciences.
Horst Hutter
This book is a deft and intelligent attempt to reconceive how truth claims were validated within the major epistemological models throughout the history of Western thought. . . . The manuscript is excellent in its discussion of the moderns. . . .
Doug Kellner
Andrew Koch's Knowledge and Social Construction provides an insightful examination of competing conceptions of subjectivity and knowledge in the Western intellectual tradition. . . . Combining philosophical interrogation with political and social critique Koch provides original and engaging perspectives on the politics of knowledge.
Perspectives on Politics
. . . compelling and valuable.
Douglas Kellner
Andrew Koch's Knowledge and Social Construction provides an insightful examination of competing conceptions of subjectivity and knowledge in the Western intellectual tradition. . . . Combining philosophical interrogation with political and social critique Koch provides original and engaging perspectives on the politics of knowledge.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780739109205
  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Publication date: 3/28/2005
  • Pages: 174
  • Product dimensions: 0.56 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew M. Koch is associate professor of political science at Appalachian State University.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 History, Knowledge, and Politics: Four Competing Epistemological Models in a Non-Linear Context Chapter 2 Textual Exclusivity in Medieval Epistemology Chapter 3 Textual Universalism and the Treatise on the Self Chapter 4 Inductive Universalism and the Science of the Self Chapter 5 Inductive Relativism and the Deconstruction of Foundational Truths Chapter 6 The End of Certainty and the Open Society

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