Social Science: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations

By Gerard Delanty | Go to book overview

7
Constructivism and
Realism

Introduction: The Constructivist-Realist Controversy

A central concern of much of recent philosophies of social science is the reopening of the question of the social context of knowledge: the indeterminacy of scientific knowledge can be related to its social context in the emergence of new links between democracy and knowledge. Feminist epistemology, discussed in the previous chapter, challenges many of the presuppositions of social science as a pure cognitive system, as does the sociology of interventionism of Touraine. These approaches point to a deepening of the idea of a critical hermeneutics beyond Habermas and Apel’s reconstructive approach, which failed to see the links between natural and social science, a relationship which now lies at the centre of recent philosophies of science. The conceptualization of social science that is now emerging is one that is pointing in the direction of new links between the natural and social sciences. In this context of central importance are constructivism and complexity (the latter will be considered in the next chapter).

Among the issues that constructivism raises is the question of the extent to which social science offers knowledge of socially constructed realities. In what ways can social science construct public discourse? To what extent is science as a cognitive system part of the social production of knowledge? Can the institutional structure of science be radicalized by democracy? It is on these issues that constructivism and realism diverge, though not to an irreconcilable extent.

Constructivists maintain that social reality is not something outside the discourse of science but is partly constituted by science.

-136-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Social Science: Philosophical and Methodological Foundations
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 197

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.