Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science

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Overview

Social constructionists maintain that we invent the properties of the world rather than discover them. Is reality constructed by our own activity? Do we collectively invent the world rather than discover it?
André Kukla presents a comprehensive discussion of the philosophical issues that arise out of this debate, analysing the various strengths and weaknesses of a range of constructivist arguments and arguing that current philosophical objections to constructivism are inconclusive. However, Kukla offers and develops new objections to constructivism, distinguishing between the social causes of scientific beliefs and the view that all ascertainable facts are constructed.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Kukla (psychology and philosophy, University of Toronto) discusses the philosophical issues that arise out of the debate surrounding social constructivism, analyzing and critiquing the various constructivist positions. He argues that current philosophical objections to constructivism are drastically inconclusive, while offering and developing new objections. In the process, he illustrates the divide between the sociology and the philosophy of science through examples as varied as laboratory science, time, and criminality. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415234191
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 8/28/2000
  • Series: Philosophical Issues in Science Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Table of Contents

Contents: Preface; 1. Defining Constructivism; 2. Constructivism and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge; 3. The Varieties of Dependence; 4. The Varieties of Constitutive Constructivisms; 5. The Empirical Case for Constructivism; 6. The A Priori Case for Constructivism; 7. Three Brief and Inadequate Objections to Constructivism; 8. The Problem of Misrepresentation; 9. Constructive Empiricism and Social Constructivism; 10. The Infinite Regress of Constructions; 11. The Duhemian Asymmetry; 12. The Problem of the Two Societies; 13. Constructivism and Time; 14. Constructivism and Logic; 15. Relativism; 16. Semantic Constructivism; 17. Irrationalism; 18. Conclusions; References; Index
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