1st Edition

Social Constructivism and the Philosophy of Science

By André Kukla Copyright 2000
    192 Pages
    by Routledge

    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    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.

    Chapter 1 Defining constructivism; Chapter 2 Constructivism and the sociology of scientific knowledge; Chapter 3 The varieties of dependence; Chapter 4 The varieties of constitutive constructivisms; Chapter 5 The empirical case for constructivism; Chapter 6 The a priori case for constructivism; Chapter 7 Three brief and inadequate objections to constructivism; Chapter 8 The problem of misrepresentation; Chapter 9 Constructive empiricism and social constructivism; Chapter 10 The infinite regress of constructions; Chapter 11 The Duhemian asymmetry; Chapter 12 The problem of the two societies; Chapter 13 Constructivism and time; Chapter 14 Constructivism and logic; Chapter 15 Relativism; Chapter 16 Semantic constructivism; Chapter 17 Irrationalism; Chapter 18 Conclusions; References; Index;


    André Kukla is a Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Toronto. He is the author of Studies in Scientific Realism.