Academic journal article Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies

Appreciative Philosophy. towards a Constructionist Approach of Philosophical and Theological Discourse

Academic journal article Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies

Appreciative Philosophy. towards a Constructionist Approach of Philosophical and Theological Discourse

Article excerpt

Abstract: The constructionist approach of philosophy includes an epistemic dimension and a pragmatic emphasis on the interdependence between knowledge and action in the social areas. Appreciative approach to philosophy is based on the work of David Cooperrider on "Appreciative Inquiry", which is a form of pragmatic discourse that substitutes the focus on the problem with the focus on successful elements of previous experience of individuals, groups, organizations or communities. This experience can be integrated in the philosophical discourse starting from Plato's dialogues and maieutic method promoted by Socrates. Hermeneutic of the real seen as a philosophical reflection on the daily positive experiences falls into tradition of philosophical search of the ultimate meaning of reality. The appreciative speech starts from a postmodern view by a constructivist and constructionist approach, through which reality itself is a social construction generated by successive negotiations on accepted interpretations.

Appreciative philosophy is centered on a semiotics grid that seeks positive qualities of existence and its strengths. Appreciative theology reveals a collaborative process between humanity and divine that catalyzes transformations in human being giving them life including eternal life. The communion human-Divinity is seen as a divine-human co-creation.

Key Words: appreciative inquiry, appreciative teaching, constructionism, appreciative philosophy, appreciative theology

Introduction

Appreciative philosophy is centered on a semiotics grid that seeks positive qualities of existence and its strengths. Vicki Hammel1 in his thesis Appreciative Philosophy: the Emerging Context and the Transformative Power of Co-creation believes that appreciative philosophy is a collaborative creative process completed by a social construction based on the significant results of the dialogue between stakeholders.

Appreciative approach to philosophy is based on the work of David Cooperrider on "Appreciative Inquiry", which is a form of pragmatic discourse that substitutes the focus on the problem with the focus on successful elements of previous experience of individuals, groups, organizations or communities. This experience can be integrated in the philosophical discourse starting from Plato's dialogues and maieutic method promoted by Socrates.

In the context of postmodern constructionism, themes of philosophizing are pretexts of discursive construction or deconstruction of structures of thought foreshadowed by questioning the meanings of their approaches in the contemporary world. Philosophy is in its ultimate essence a problematical speech. The deconstruction of problematization, in our view, do not annihilate the philosophical concerns, but put them in relation with the individual experience which are interrogatively returned of the individual's very own experience, of sources and meanings of them.

The destiny of applied philosophy is to put in the hands of those who are interested in, very different ways of understanding and interpretative instruments regarding the continuous negotiation of interpretations processes and principles underlying them, and how to decrypt the hidden meanings in the very process of interpretation2.

Constructionism and postmodernism

Constructionism is seen as part of the postmodern paradigm because of models relativization and reporting reality to negotiation of interpretations. Constructionist epistemology is through its structure close to postmodernism, to Lyotard's vision, according to which our picture of reality is a narration, a consensus of speech - considers Hacking3. The scientific discourse is a particular form of speech and can be analyzed in a constructionist manner as textual analysis.

Constructionism can be methodological used based on the importance of the epistemic subject in the social construction of truth4. The concept of truth has therefore significance in relation to a socially accepted fact or experience. …

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