Social constructivism vs Positivism
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07-01-2013, 11:06 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Hey, fst.

I'm having difficulty with your questions. I really do need you to be more specific and a little more interactive. We're having a conversation. I'm not your monkey.

I don't know how to penetrate the frame of your question. Positivism states that only scientific knowledge is viable. It's a very specific position that isn't shared by other philosophies. I couldn't even venture a guess about what exactly you mean by viable. The only thing I can think to say is that science is not the begining and end of knowledge.

The second part of your question, well, asks the wrong question. It seems rooted int the position that science is king and that it's king because of the qualities it possesses. It seems that if another source of knowledge doesn't possess those particular qualities, then regardless of what qualities it does possess, it's necessarilly worse. I don't at all see the question like that and I'm confused about what any of it has to do with the constructivist view.

I don't know. It just feels like your fishing. Positivism states that there IS no other knowledge that's viable. I sense you're trying to just have that confirmed somehow. I mean, really, your question has nothing to do with constructivism from what I can tell.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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08-01-2013, 02:29 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
(07-01-2013 11:06 PM)Ghost Wrote:  Hey, fst.

I'm having difficulty with your questions. I really do need you to be more specific and a little more interactive. We're having a conversation. I'm not your monkey.

I don't know how to penetrate the frame of your question. Positivism states that only scientific knowledge is viable. It's a very specific position that isn't shared by other philosophies. I couldn't even venture a guess about what exactly you mean by viable. The only thing I can think to say is that science is not the begining and end of knowledge.

The second part of your question, well, asks the wrong question. It seems rooted int the position that science is king and that it's king because of the qualities it possesses. It seems that if another source of knowledge doesn't possess those particular qualities, then regardless of what qualities it does possess, it's necessarilly worse. I don't at all see the question like that and I'm confused about what any of it has to do with the constructivist view.

I don't know. It just feels like your fishing. Positivism states that there IS no other knowledge that's viable. I sense you're trying to just have that confirmed somehow. I mean, really, your question has nothing to do with constructivism from what I can tell.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
I'm reading a book on constructivism and I'm checking to see where you and the philosophy are different.

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08-01-2013, 09:49 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Hey, fst.

Which book?

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Matt
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09-01-2013, 12:43 AM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
I've been lurking this thread for a bit and I'd like to know if this question is similar to the op.

Which is more important, my perceptions of truth or the truth of my perceptions? I've come to think the latter is more important as perceived knowledge would limited by the tools of measurement or the communication of it. Culture and language would be a matter of perception and not a matter of truth. A rooster crows differently to different languages:

Quote from http://www.bootstrappin.com/2008/10/cock...e-rooster/
Did you know that roosters in other parts of the world speak a different language than roosters in America?
A few weeks ago, I made the mistake of using the word “cock-a-doodle-doo” with my European friends, and they had a good laugh at that ridiculous word. “Why?” I asked. “What do roosters say where you come from?”
I got a wide range of different answers.
“Kukeleku, of course” said Sietse my Dutch friend.
“Cocorico,” said Diane my French friend.
“Kickeriki,” said my Italian friend Hans who comes from the part of Italy where they speak German.
“Quiquiriquí­,” said Iñake, my friend from the Basque region of Spain.
“Wo-wo-wo!,” said my Swedish-Chinese friend Tee, who speaks seven languages. (She was referring to the Mandarin word there.) She added: “In Swedish, we say Kuckeliku.”
All of these words, of course, refer to the same exact rooster crow that we all know. Every language in the world creates different onomatopoeia for the same sound, thus all the different words.


Varying perceptions of the same truth. Is this what you're talking about?
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09-01-2013, 09:56 AM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Hey, Grassy.

I'm not familiar with that dichotomy, so I might stumble a bit here. I'll do my best.

I question the dichotomy itself. I don't think it's a question of importance at all; certainly not in the sense of more or less. George EP Box said that all models are wrong, but some are useful. For me, what he's saying is that a model can never be the thing it is modeling. A 100% accurate model of a cat, is a cat. All models abstract the thing they're modeling and leave out important details in service of making it comprehensible. It's important, but Box's warning is that we cannot allow ourselves to fall victim to the allure that the model is the thing, because it is not. But by abstracting the world, by making and using models, that process being the core of human cognition, we make things comprehensible and we enable cognition. And cognition is pretty sweet. That's why models are useful.

So your perceptions of truth are important insofar as that's how you think. Without those perceptions of truth, you would be incapable of thought. So that seems pretty important.

The truth of your perceptions, that's something else entirely and pretty much the core of this debate.

Scientific truths, small t, are often viewed as the Truth, big T, because they're verifiable. You can test them, make predictions with them, they're viewed as really accurate. The relationship that it enables is one of control over the universe. This is part of the reason that the fact that it's all just modeling is forgotten. It seems close enough to the truth, so it must be the truth. Other truths, like say, the monkey spirit Xolichypipam lives in cyprus trees and makes it rain when we're good to one another (totally just invented that) is looked at as false, or base, because there's no evidence, it's not verifiable, sometimes even demonstrably false, all the rest. The assumption made here is that something that is demonstrably false, cannot be a truth. Anthropology clearly tells us that this is not the case. The relationship that something like this enables is one of co-existence, which to a people obsessed with control seems almost entirely meaningless. And there are more relationships still.

We must remember that truths do not exist in a vacuum. Truths exist in a complex with other truths and form systems within human systems (tribes, countries, corporations, families... cultures). Those systems also exist along side other systems.

Our models, our abstractions of the universe give rise to our stories. Our stories are something we enact, something we live in. They tell us everything we know about how things came to be this way and our place in the universe and our relationship with other entities.

Different peoples, different human systems, have different stories. Some of those stories have truths that overlap, but the way to define them is by comparing their differences. The structure of a truth system (or a world view if you will) is a delicate lattice of interdependent truths. The thing that ensures that it's stable is internal consistency.

Internal consistency, simply put, means that there are few contradictions. The thing is that there are ALWAYS contradictions. ALWAYS. Even in science. Because the model is always wrong. But there are mechanisms in place (hegemony) to suture and smooth over these contradictions so that we ignore them and that constantly reasserts the ideology, all so that the ideological system runs smoothly. Without those mechanisms, we would have nothing to hold onto, not any of us, because those systems would continually disintegrate. But when those giant, glaring inconsistencies pop up, the real bull in a china shop ones, it makes it difficult for those mechanisms to obfuscate them. A big enough inconsistency can collapse the whole structure.

The internal consistency of world views that contain scientific truths is pretty high. Positivism is basically saying that because of that, it's the best and that everything else is devoid of value. But we have reams of evidence that show that thousands of non-scientific, non-empirical, even falsifiable world views manage to remain internally consistent and that they provide a useful framework for those people. This is the ultimate extension of Box. All models are wrong. ALL of them. So the truth of your perceptions are actually irrelevant. The consistency and the usefulness of them is all that matters.

Science is useful BECAUSE of the method. There's no denying that. But we know, for fact, that other world views are incredibly useful. Not only that, but they offer things to those people that scientific ones do not and cannot.

This, I think, is the great counter-intuitive thing that people have a hard time getting over. That EVERYTHING is wrong because everything is an abstract construction. Truth, big T, doesn't exist; only truths, small t, do. But Truth is irrelevant. Usefulness is all that matters. It's hard to wrap one's head around that.

I think that part of the issue is that people who believe in scientific Truth, have a hard time making the switch to the idea of scientific usefulness (and straight up, science is hella useful). I think the difficulty, and this is something positivism is designed to combat, is that it allows for the validation of non-scientific world views. By saying that science is incredibly useful, we can maintain the same allegiance to her and to the scientific method, but the scientific monopoly is broken. In the end, this is about power, not truth.

So in some way, yes, I'm talking about varying perceptions of a single truth. As far as we know, we exist and there is a universe that exists around us (although some people don't make that separation and consider it one giant continuum). We are obligated to have some sort of relationship with that which exists in order to survive. But the relationship we all have is constructed, and different constructions can look at it in different ways. Sometimes those differences are slight, and sometimes those differences are so wildly different, that really no translation can be made from one to the other. The other way seems incomprehensible to us because there is no place for it in our construction. That foreign idea, within our own construction, is internally inconsistent and therefore summarily rejected. But the assumption is that because it is rejected from our own, it is inherently without value; it must be rejected from all. But that is not the case. If it has a place in another construction, if it allows for internal consistency within that construction, if it helps that other construction be useful, then it has value. Again, nothing exists in a vacuum.

And I'll define useful right now. A world view is useful when it enables us to survive and to thrive.

The metric for measuring thriving is culturally relative.

(I offer that definition for clarity. I myself can see all kinds of problems with it. I do not propose that it is the ultimate definition and I accept that it might prove controversial.)

The usefulness of an idea tethers us to that which exists as it exists; I like to call it actuality. It allows us to interact with it and with each other. But reality as we understand it is actually the product of that relationship. Reality is always related to actuality, but it is not actuality itself. Reality is a construction that we create through agreement, that we enact, that we live in, and that we can alter quite arbitrarily.

I hope that clarified things for you. It certainly clarified things for me Cool

I had trouble with, "...perceived knowledge would limited by the tools of measurement or the communication of it," so I don't know if I addressed that directly. Will you let me know?

Now, just because you mentioned it, a little denouement comedy:








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Matt
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12-01-2013, 04:39 PM (This post was last modified: 12-01-2013 04:43 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Well at least after reading that I can kind of see what your stance is on constructivism, and how you boil it down to relativism.

The consequences of constructivism.



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12-01-2013, 06:37 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Hey, fst.

I'm really glad that you found it useful. Real talk. Feel free to ask clarifying questions.

As for what you said, there can't really be consequences to constructivism. It's an observation, not a prescription. It's not like some people construct reality and some don't. Every single human being does it.

I mean, you could say that falling is a consequence of gravity, but the notion that constructivism causes specific things doesn't really wash. Like, constructivism isn't responsible for any one culture or any one belief. It's just how everything functions. I mean the only real consequence of constructivism is reality. And there's no escaping constructivism. It's always at work.

Granted, I look at those 300 years in Baghdad and I, like you, go fuck yeah! I mean, I'm all about diversity. To know that there was a time when peoples, all kinds of peoples, came together and co-existed and shared and co-operated on that scale. That's the fucking shit! I also look at this guy that fucked it all up and I'm all like, maaaaaan, that shit is whack! But that's because you and I come from similar cultures. It's an ethnocentric view. But our view that those 300 years were great is just as constructed as his view that it was poison.

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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12-01-2013, 07:22 PM (This post was last modified: 15-01-2013 05:39 PM by fstratzero.)
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism
Still reading reading. Which doesn't mean I accept your position, I merely understand it.

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01-02-2013, 02:14 PM
RE: Social constructivism vs Positivism



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

I gotta ask, could you please contextualise your YouTube embeds? Right now, this comes across as, "Suck on this, bitch!" I don't know why you posted this video or what point you yourself are trying to make. Care to enlighten me?

Peace and Love and Empathy,

Matt
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