Social constructivism vs Positivism
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08-02-2013, 05:39 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2013 06:03 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Basically this.

According to the subjective view of reality, and social constructivism.

The world was objectively flat until enough people came to believe it was round. Therefore the world became round due to their shift of thought.

People who think the world is a cube is objectively true to them even though in another culture it's round, or flat. If I leave one culture and go to another, they are correct.

Amputees could heal themselves if enough people establish that they could as fact.

After all reality is just what we make it in our heads.

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08-02-2013, 05:41 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Hey, Chas.

You and me like sex. But we're not nymphomaniacs. A nymphomaniac wants sex all the time and will put that drive ahead of all things. The will literally destroy their lives in search of sex. And what you cannot do, at all, is suggest that everyone is like a nymphomaniac.

Our culture is OBSESSED with controlling our environment. Sure, other cultures do it, but it's not anywhere near as important to them and they often put other needs and desires ahead of it.

We're talking about primacy, priority, what's important to a people. What's important to Our culture is clear. Growth. Progress. Living longer. Bigger, better, faster, more. Not everyone cares about that.

As for pre-industrial farmers, you can draw a straight line from Assyria to us. We're the same culture. We have the same wants and priorities. Greece, Rome, Egypt, The Ottomans, The Moors, Russia, China, India, France, Germany, Japan, The US, we are all enamoured of the same things. We all share a core ideology. This is why I capitalise the O in Our culture. Our culture encompasses all of those cultures and more. You can take someone from anyone of those cultures, drop them in one of the others and, language barrier aside, they barely have to adapt. You drop a Mohican in any of those cultures and they're flummoxed. Drop a Gebusi in there and they simply won't understand how we can think the way we do.

The ideology of Our culture has the control of the world at its core. The world belongs to us. We can do with it as we please. These are ideas thousands of years old. Unlimited growth. Our culture is in the talons of these ideas. But to us, they seem normal. Like it couldn't possibly be any other way. To a people as obsessed with control as we, science is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

But they aren't normal. They're ubiquitous, but not normal. It's all about ideology. The litmus test is simple. Do ALL people do a thing? If everyone does it, then it's an instinct. If only some do, even if 99.99% do, it's cultural, it's ideological.

Science is good, m'kay. But for you and me. In Our culture, in our context, it's good. So from the ethnocentric view of Our culture, science is the best thing eva! Ethnocentrically speaking, Positivism makes sense. For what we're out to accomplish, science is a powerful ally. But not everyone lives in our context and not everyone wants what we want.

BEST does not exist in Darwinism.

I've posted this video before, but it very clearly shows a people (who are most certainly NOT a part of Our culture) whose beliefs are anathema to our own (watch to about 3:40).




But, to bring all of this back to the main point, everything is a construction. Every single thought you have in your head. Every last one. Without exception. That's the important bit.

PS: You cannot claim that things we do every single day are extreme. There is nothing extreme about monocroping. It's a mundane act in Our culture. So is damming rivers. So is clear cutting. So is overharvesting the ocean. So is factory farming. But there are many cultures, most of whom are dead but there are some that have survived the slaughter and remain to this day, that do NONE of those things. Ever. That's our first clue that what we are doing is not some innate human drive. They are actions born of ideology.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-02-2013, 05:53 PM (This post was last modified: 08-02-2013 06:31 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
(06-02-2013 10:58 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, fst.

Quote:However it cannot establish that geocentricity in one culture is valid,
and that heliocentricity is valid in another. Only the heliocentric view
is true. No matter what you think about it, or how you explain it, the
earth will revolve around the sun. The nature of reality will continue
to exist, and function, no matter how wrong our explanation of that
reality is.

But that only has meaning within a very specific construct, the one that you and I share. Outside of that construct it has absolutely no meaning.

Outside of any construct the universe still operates to the heliocentric view. The universe doesn't interrupt it's operation to please our misinterpretation of it.

Quote:
Quote:Science a way for us to take apart reality, describe it's cause and
effect thus providing a model that better reflects reality than any
other system.

As I just mentioned to Zat in another thread, science too is a construction.

The constructivist view doesn't say that science is bad. It doesn't say that anything is bad. It just explains what we observe.

As far as apples and oranges, Positivism says that science is the best and that everything else is poo. Constructivism says, that is what Positivists think, but that's not objectively true and it's not shared by all cultures.

Being able to switch observers and get the same results is the testament to science. Experiments can be replicated and verified. Which in all cultures establishes it's self as true. Maybe you should watch some scientists in the muslim world explain how the world is round to a fundamentalist.

Quote:
Quote:Even if all models of reality are effectively wrong, we can conclude that some models are more false than others.

That's a trap because it's only meaningful to people who believe there is an objective truth. Only to them does it matter whether or not one thing is closer to it. It's a bargaining ploy. "OK, we admit that no one has the truth, but our truth is the better wrong truth!"

Box says, "All models are wrong. But some are useful." Validity has only to do with usefulness and usefulness has no objective metric; only a relativistic one. What seems useless to you and me might be the core of reality to another people.

So Positivism makes sense to positivists because non-empirical sources of knowledge are "less true" than scientific ones by the metric of science itself. It's hard to see past that ideology when one is immersed in it. But if you eliminate that metric (not arbitrarily but because one accepts that it's not an objective metric but rather a constructed one) then Positivism breaks down. Science isn't the ONLY path to knowledge.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt

It would only be a "trap" to those who wish to live in delusions. All though you seem to hold to the idea that social constructivism is an objective fact. A fact about a reality you think doesn't exist, except in the way brains decide to see it.

I'm going to decide to fly, brb enjoying my idealist perception of reality that isn't a delusion at all.

Even an objectivists are tolerant. It's not hard to see how one can come to false conclusions, and make attribution errors. It doesn't meant that we have to accept any of their nonsense as truth either.

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08-02-2013, 07:58 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
I will concede that as a tool to study behavior in groups it's useful as a descriptive tool, but that's all the concession I am willing to grant it. Social constructivism cannot provide a tool to tell us what is real, only what groups think.

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08-02-2013, 08:49 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Hey, fst.

What can I say? You mock it, but in each of your last three posts, you've demonstrated that you don't understand it. Such is life.
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09-02-2013, 01:55 PM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2013 03:31 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
(08-02-2013 08:49 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, fst.

What can I say? You mock it, but in each of your last three posts, you've demonstrated that you don't understand it. Such is life.
Of course I've mocked it. You assert reality is a collective vote, subjectively dependent on minds to perceive it, and then posit that objective reality doesn't exist.

Normally I wouldn't be against such a position if it was consistent and made sense. However reality is objective. Cut off your arm, and you will never be able to get that arm back. It doesn't matter what you believe, or what society believes, you will always be with out that arm.

That's the gift of positivism. The true nature of reality.

The funny thing is how you skew social constructivism into this very tolerant position, in the name of social justice, but it seems like you never considered the opposite. If Russians think every other non-russian is an animal and chooses to destroy other nations, then in their construction it's morally correct, and in yours it's incorrect. However we are all equally wrong. So for them it's ok to do so.

You seem to refuse the idea that one can always use social constructivism to justify any thing they feel like doing as long as enough people support it, even genocide. It holds that the concepts of two different social formations be entirely different and incommensurate. This being the case, it is impossible to make comparative judgements about statements made according to each worldview. This is because the criteria of judgement will themselves have to be based on some worldview or other. If this is the case, then it brings into question how communication between them about the truth or falsity of any given statement could be established.

(08-02-2013 05:41 PM)Ghost Wrote:  But, to bring all of this back to the main point, everything is a construction. Every single thought you have in your head. Every last one. Without exception. That's the important bit.

You have asserted this time and time again, with out evidence.

C'est la vie.

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09-02-2013, 03:30 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Fst.

The constructivist view is not a prescription. It's an observation. You would never say that people use gravity as a justification for falling. So why would you say that the constructivist view can be used to justify something?

People HAVE an understanding of the world. All the constructivist view tells us is what the nature of that understanding is and where it comes from. The content of that understanding is irrelevant to the view in the same way that the number of people that slip on banana peels is irrelevant to gravity.

You say I skew, but you never say how. Then you say something outlandish that demonstrates a total lack of understanding of what the constructivist view is or what it is saying.

I know that you don't like this idea. But you need to accept that you don't understand it. I'm here to answer your questions. I begged for your questions. But I no longer believe that you had any desire to learn something new. You just wanted to see if you could find anything that would allow you to better shit on this idea. So that, as they say, is that. You wanna ask a reasonable question? I'm right here.

I don't even think you understand positivism. The gift of positivism is the true nature of reality? That doesn't even make sense.

Impossible to compare world views? What do you think cultural relativism means?

And here's a question. If morality (which is such a narrow slice of this conversation) is not relative, then are you saying that it's objective? Because that's what seems implied.

And yes. If I'm comparing my culture to another culture, I could very easily be doing it through an ethnocentric lens. I could also try to understand their customs as they see it. Anthropologists have been doing exactly those two things for decades.

But like I said, we view everything through a process of mediation.

Anyway, I'm sitting here typing like you give a shit. You've already said that you mock the idea, so your contempt has rendered your mind officially closed. So whatever. You don't like it? Fine. But I can guarantee you that you don't even understand it. So ask questions if you want, but next time, don't invite me into a thread unless you're actually willing to talk.
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09-02-2013, 03:49 PM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2013 03:53 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
(09-02-2013 03:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Fst.

The constructivist view is not a prescription. It's an observation. You would never say that people use gravity as a justification for falling. So why would you say that the constructivist view can be used to justify something?

Actually I would say that gravity is great justification for falling.

(09-02-2013 03:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  People HAVE an understanding of the world. All the constructivist view tells us is what the nature of that understanding is and where it comes from. The content of that understanding is irrelevant to the view in the same way that the number of people that slip on banana peels is irrelevant to gravity.

Ahahahahaha I'd love to see the proof for that.

(09-02-2013 03:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  You say I skew, but you never say how. Then you say something outlandish that demonstrates a total lack of understanding of what the constructivist view is or what it is saying.

You skewed it to reflect social justice, when it also applies to social injustice.

(09-02-2013 03:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  I know that you don't like this idea. But you need to accept that you don't understand it. I'm here to answer your questions. I begged for your questions. But I no longer believe that you had any desire to learn something new. You just wanted to see if you could find anything that would allow you to better shit on this idea. So that, as they say, is that. You wanna ask a reasonable question? I'm right here.

I don't even think you understand positivism. The gift of positivism is the true nature of reality? That doesn't even make sense.

What you and I think is irrelevant what is true is the only relevance.

(09-02-2013 03:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Impossible to compare world views? What do you think cultural relativism means?

And here's a question. If morality (which is such a narrow slice of this conversation) is not relative, then are you saying that it's objective? Because that's what seems implied.

No not at all. I am saying reality is objective. That is it is separate from the mind and can be known.

(09-02-2013 03:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  And yes. If I'm comparing my culture to another culture, I could very easily be doing it through an ethnocentric lens. I could also try to understand their customs as they see it. Anthropologists have been doing exactly those two things for decades.

If you are comparing cultures then how can you make any distinction between truth and falsehoods?

(09-02-2013 03:30 PM)Ghost Wrote:  But like I said, we view everything through a process of mediation.

Anyway, I'm sitting here typing like you give a shit. You've already said that you mock the idea, so your contempt has rendered your mind officially closed. So whatever. You don't like it? Fine. But I can guarantee you that you don't even understand it. So ask questions if you want, but next time, don't invite me into a thread unless you're actually willing to talk.

I am willing to talk but you seem to be thoroughly dedicated to constructivism. As always you provide no proof, just assertions, and never address any of the criticisms. You only clam that I do not understand it, which implies an ad hominem.

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09-02-2013, 05:37 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Quote:Actually I would say that gravity is great justification for falling.

Well then I don't believe in gravity because someone might actually use it as a justification for falling.

Quote:Ghost Wrote: People
HAVE an understanding of the world. All the constructivist view tells
us is what the nature of that understanding is and where it comes from.
The content of that understanding is irrelevant to the view in the same
way that the number of people that slip on banana peels is irrelevant to
gravity.



Ahahahahaha I'd love to see the proof for that.

What in the actual fuck could that possibly mean? Proof of what? That people have an understanding of the world? You dispute that?!?!?!?!?! You want proof of what the constructivist view is about? That the content of someone's understanding is irrelevant to the constructivist view? That the number of people that slip on a banana peel is irrelevant to gravity? Like for real. What the fuck could you possibly be laughing at?

Quote:You skewed it to reflect social justice, when it also applies to social injustice.

What in the good Christ's fuck does that mean?

Quote:What you and I think is irrelevant what is true is the only relevance.

THAT'S NOT EVEN A FUCKING SENTENCE!

Quote:No not at all. I am saying reality is objective. That is it is separate from the mind and can be known.

Then why the fuck did you bring up morality? Jesus fuck, man, you're turning me grey!

For the record, I know and accept that you think reality is objective and that it can be known.

----------

I've separated the post here because I felt that the above quotes were... I can't think of a polite term. I think my responses speak for themselves. But everything that follows is a very sincere attempt on my part to offer detailed and honest answers to your questions and concerns. That is to say that above this point lies an argument. Below, there is a dialogue that I honestly hope will lead to greater understanding between us.

I hope that it is of value to you.

-----------

Hello, fst.

Quote:If you are comparing cultures then how can you make any distinction between truth and falsehoods?

You and I see Truth and falsehood differently IMO.

You, I believe, see Truth as an objective thing. Say, water is wet. That's an objective truth. I view truths as the evolving result of a social process. They are constructed, subjective, unfixed, culturally relative, contingent on environmental and temporal context and mutable.

You, I believe, see a falsehood as something that does not correspond to an objective Truth. Say, water is a large penis. That is a falsehood. Any belief that is other than the Truth is necessarily a falsehood (that's a very important point for me). I view falsehoods as something that does not correspond to a truth within its proper cultural context and that is not necessarily a falsehood in another cultural context. For example, in cultures that ban sodomy, "Sodomy is great," is a falsehood; however, in a culture that embraces homosexual sex, "Sodomy is great," is a truth. But that being said, I don't put as much emphasis on the importance of falsehood because I am making no comparison to an objective standard.

If I was comparing cultures (and by I, I mean me), I would identify that which is considered a truth in my own culture. Then I'd identify what is considered a truth in other cultures. Then I'd compare them. I could compare them by using my own truth as a baseline, or I could compare and contrast them impartially. Or, I could simply try to understand their truths.

For example, when I look at the Australian Aborigine notion of the Dreaming, I know that many of the things that they consider truth are different than the things that I consider truth. I could look at their truths using my own as a baseline (or vice versa really). I could compare and contrast them impartially. Or I could try to understand their truth as they see it, without reference to my own; which of course does not demand that I abandon my own.

Quote:I am willing to talk but you seem to be thoroughly dedicated to constructivism.

Well yes. I am. But not arbitrarily. I am a champion of the idea because it makes sense to me and because it's supported by evidence and because it corresponds to the observations of multiple disciplines.

I am willing to have a conversation about it and I feel quite comfortable talking about it because I believe that I have a great deal of knowledge to share and a firm understanding of the concept. I'm willing to learn more about positivism and I only stopped asking questions because you asked me to. I'm not too keen on being the butt of your jokes or to tolerate your mockery of an idea that is important to me. But, as always, I remain committed to discussing this matter with you so long as you display an openness to hearing the idea, a general sense of curiosity, respect for me and the idea and an appreciation for the energy I commit to responding to you. I don't need you to accept the idea and I certainly don't expect you to swallow it whole without asking questions, but if you're willing to understand it, then I'm game. I feel that I understand positivism, I just don't agree with its central assertion. The one thing I know that I don't understand is how it supports its assertion that science is the best source of knowledge, but as I mentioned, you informed me that you didn't want to discuss it anymore. So while I'm foggy in that area, I do feel that I understand the assertions being made.

Quote:As always you provide no proof, just assertions, and never address any
of the criticisms. You only clam that I do not understand it, which
implies an ad hominem

I am very sensitive to ad hominem attacks, so please understand that I take you very seriously in this matter. But I respectfully disagree. And I'll tell you why. If I was your math teacher and I taught you addition and your response was 1+1=7, I'd sit down and try to explain it again. If, over several interactions, you continued to miscalculate the sum and furthermore, began to mock me for championing addition and to mock addition itself citing your miscalculations as reason, I'd be very comfortable saying, "Fst, you need to recognise that you do not understand addition and that your mockery of me and the idea is based off of that misunderstanding." I don't feel that that would be an ad hominem attack. Obviously, my feeling is that this is analagous to our interactions regarding the constructivist view. I feel that you have repeatedly criticised both me and the constructivist view and based your criticisms on notions that, to me, demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding of the constructivist view. If you go back through my posts, I believe that you'll find several instances where I've pointed out those misunderstandings.

As for no proof, I believe I've spoken about the sensory organs, signal transduction, the central nervous system, the brain organ, human cognition, semiotics and the sign/signifier/signified model, the Box understanding of models (with supports), abstraction, the data stream and the importance of modeling, language, memetics, information theory, communication theory and most likely some other fields too. All of these things can be looked up and verified. If you want, I can talk about people who have written works on these subjects like Plato (who's analogy of the cave from his ancient work "Poetics" I've mentioned several times), Benjamin, McLuhan, Carey, Barthes, de Certeau, Lakoff and Johnson, Foucault, van Dijk, Hall, Ang, Althusser, de Lauretis, Tattersall along with others. So, I really don't feel that your accusation of never providing evidence holds any water.

And as far as never addressing criticisms go, I think that's preposterous. I have written direct responses to questions and criticisms in this thread voluminously. For example:
-Chas' assertion that humans have practiced science for thousands of years.
-Poolboy's request for a clarification of the term race
-Your assertion that science "is not constrained what so ever on language alone"
-Your circular logic that science is the most valid because of the scientific method
-Your criticism that crows possess some form of cognition
-Grassy's question, "Which is more important, my perceptions of truth or the truth of my perceptions?"
-Your criticism that there are consequences to the constructivist view
-Your heliocentrism criticism
-Your notion that some models are more false than others
-Chas' belief that no other method comes close to science's ability to construct a model
-Chas' criticism of my assertion that Our culture is obsessed with control
-Chas' criticism of my use of extreme examples of Our culture's behaviour

So again, I feel that your accusation is baseless in this case.

So. Ask away if you choose. If your interest is mockery only, then just say so and our conversation will be done. I hope that you ask questions because I feel that I have a great deal that I can share with you on this subject. I don't plan to make a convert out of you, but as Onyx once quipped, "Say what the fuck you wanna say, just spell my name right." I would simply prefer that when criticising the constructivist view or discussing the matter with others, that I can help bring you to the point that you'll 'spell its name right'.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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09-02-2013, 09:42 PM (This post was last modified: 09-02-2013 09:46 PM by PurpleChimp.)
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
I'm a long time lurker, and I find this conversation very interesting, so I hope you don't mind me hoping in so late into the discussion.

I just wanted to make a comment about the conversation itself, not the topic (as I'm not knowledgable enough on the topic to comment). I find many of the questions that Fstratzero poses to be very interesting, and I would love to hear an answer to them, yet somehow every time a really good question comes up Ghost replies with "you don't make any sense" or "there are too many grammatical errors, try again". Am I the only one who completely understands what Fstratzero is trying to say, or is it just Ghost dodging the questions?
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