Authors: Krohn, Wolfgang
Title: Deliberative Constructivism
Language (ISO): en
Abstract: The paper proposes to expand the constructivist view from empirical analysis to pragmatic advice. Its main thesis is: The fact that methods and concepts in the production of knowledge and standards for justifying truth claims are culturally bound does not preclude these bonds from being observed and also controlled and adjusted. Knowledge work imports scientific methods and concepts into virtually all segments of society. Whether knowledge is well manufactured and trustworthy is no longer the sole concern of scientific communities but of clients, stakeholder groups, political bodies, and other actors. The paper begins with reconsidering the symmetry principle of the Strong Programme from a methodological point of view. It argues that excluding justified beliefs from the realm of independent variables is unwarranted. Even if it is impossible to introduce truth as a cause, it is possible to accept justifications of beliefs as causes. In a second line of analysis, this paper explores that the concept of cultural relativity of knowledge has an internal instability. Every lesson in cultural relativism is a lesson in designing cognitive strategies to transcend it. The better the social construction of scientific knowledge is understood and even causally explained, the better reflexive abstraction opens up possibilities to operate with this causality and loosen or tighten the cultural bonds. Examples demonstrate that crossing established boundaries and aiming at higher degrees of cultural independency are as meaningful as value based restrictions to smaller domains. It is in this context that constructivism has a future as a frame for deliberative forms of knowledge construction and justification.
Issue Date: 2006-07
Provenance: Technische Universität Dortmund
Appears in Collections:Special Issue 1

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