RE: social construction & realism

Hello Anthony

What I mean is that I agree with the postmodern critique of the idea of an
unchanging self inasmuch as I can see how we construct and re-invent
ourselves all the time through our personal narratives etc. However I think
that this approach goes too far if it denies any usefulness or validity to
the notion of a meaningful continuity of the self. The common human
experience of a sense of authenticity seems to suggest a 'centre of gravity'
at least.

Anyway, even if you do allow no essential reality to the self, it would be
theoretically possible to hold a realism about the external world, ie that
there really is something 'out there', that intuitions against idealism or
solipsism should be taken seriously, that reality is more than simply

What I suppose I'm seeking to find out is whether, when the word 'realism'
is used in social science, it has a more limited/specific usage than it does
in philosophy as a whole - so that someone might be a non - realist
(constructivist) view of self but a realist with respect to the world.

I hope this is at least coherent if not correct.


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:owner-foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Anthony
Sent: 17 November 2002 15:35
To: foucault@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: social construction & realism

Is it possible to have a social constructionist view of epistemology and
hold to an ontological realism? Conceptually I guess it is, but does

Welcome to the list.

In what sense do you mean ontological realism, Will?

All the best

Anthony McCann

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