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Author: David McCourt

While constructivism has become a popular approach since its emergence, its powerhas weakened recently, becoming a vague catchall term for research on norms, culture andidentities in world politics. I refer to this as the ‘contemporary crisis of constructivism’, andargue that it stems, at least in part, from insufficient reflexivity towards the act of knowledgeconstruction and the role of the scholar in the process. In the light of this ‘challenge ofreflexivity’, I argue that all constructivists – whatever their stripe – must develop a reflex toinclude in their analyses of world politics a simultaneous analysis of the social constructionof that knowledge. Second, constructivism cannot have a single response to the challengeof reflexivity as there are quite different ways of doing reflexivity that accord with distinctresponses to the question that lies at the base of the challenge of reflexivity: what is the roleof the intellectual in society? Constructivism has no single answer – and can have no uniqueapproach to reflexivity – because it is not a singular approach. There are thus multiple ways ofbeing a reflexive constructivist. To illustrate, I join a lively debate about the incorporation ofreflexive sociology of Pierre Bourdieu into IR, using it as a foil to assess a range of possiblereflexive approaches: from a narrow focus on the scholar using auto-ethnographic methods orthe sociology of knowledge aimed primarily at reducing scholarly bias, to a broader ethicalpractice of reflexivity for anyone engaging in acts of world-making.

In: European Review of International Studies

linguistic transcendentalism and/or radical constructivism, and embraces instead, amongst other things: the notion of “historical sensation” 9 in the writings of Johan Huizinga; the aesthetic experiences of the Romantic Poets; the experience of surrender attributed by John Dewey (and others) to the viewer

In: Journal of the Philosophy of History
Author: SUN Ning

Constructivism has been an important program in contemporary philosophy, but cannot itself cannot provide sufficient context for grasping its key points. To fully understand its power and potential we must borrow tools from other programs: specifically, Charles Peirce and John Dewey’s pragmatism. By exploring these two pragmatists’ articulations of “generalization,” which I hold is the most crucial question in constructivism, their prospective contributions to constructivism can be brought to light. If, as I argue, constructivism can incorporate the lessons of pragmatism, then it can still be considered a highly workable interpretation of reality and of human endeavors.

In: Frontiers of Philosophy in China

Early Wendtian and Habermasian constructivism in IR displayed a number of traits that were inconsistent with constructivist sociological theory. These included state-centrism and actorhood, a voluntarist and intentionalist conception of agency, the limited focus on the problems of anarchy and cooperation, a partial insistence on causal models, a conception of the problem of order in terms of normative integration, the dissociation of norms and power, and the lack of a theory of socialisation (accounting for the formation of identities and interests). Focusing on Wendt’s seminal Social Theory of International Politics as well as exemplary formulations of Habermasian constructivism, this paper examines to extent which these early constructional defects of mainstream constructivism in IR were fixed or persist in its mature formulations. The conclusion of the paper reflects on broader challenges to (and opportunities for) constructivism deriving from a changing disciplinary and political context. Where early constructivist scholarship largely wrestled with the neo-neo synthesis and the political context of the end of the Cold War, contemporary constructivist scholarship is well advised to engage with the practice (and material) turns and to address postcolonial challenges and the reality of a post-Western world.

In: European Review of International Studies
A Relativist Epistemic Approach to Science Education
Author: Andreas Quale
This book addresses the topic of science education, from the viewpoint of the theory of radical constructivism. It takes a closer look at the "image of science" that is projected, in the presentation of it to students and to the general public. This leads into a broad discussion of the notions of learning and knowing, specifically referring to issues of epistemology (the nature of scientific knowledge) and ontology (what science can tell us about the world), and the implications of these issues for science education. In particular, a detailed analysis is given of the dichotomy of relativism vs. realism, and its consequences for the concept of truth in science.
Author: Paul Boghossian

1. Overall Argument According to Majid Amini and Christopher Caldwell: Boghossian attempts to argue against the challenge of epistemic relativism in his Fear of Knowledge . The argument, in outline, attacks relativism by connecting it to constructivism and, by showing the untenability of

In: International Journal for the Study of Skepticism
Author: Stephan, Achim

[German Version] Generally speaking, the term constructivism denotes positions that focus on the concept of construction as a constitutive aspect of their theory of human (cultural) products, whether these be artworks, scientific or philosophical theories, or mental states and processes such as

In: Religion Past and Present Online

This article argues that the symbolic interactionist sources of the first generationof constructivists in IR theory are worth recovering because of their ability to address whatconstructivists have always wanted to understand – the social construction of world politics.Symbolic interactionism is more or less implicit in key claims of canonical works of the firstgeneration of constructivism in International Relations (IR) theory. However, constructivismlost some of its potential to address everyday experiences and performances of world politicswhen it turned to norm diffusion and socialisation. The second generation of constructivistsgenerated rich insights on the construction of national identities and on patterns of foreignpolicy, but did not fully exploit constructivism’s analytical potentials. Contrary to what mostIR scholars have come to believe, symbolic interactionists saw the self as a deeply social – nota psychological or biological – phenomenon. Symbolic interactionism is interested in howinherently incomplete and fragile selves are constructed and deconstructed through processesof inclusion, exclusion and shaming. Today, third generation constructivists are returning tothe sociology of Erving Goffman and Harold Garfinkel and other symbolic interactionists toaddress problems of identity, power and deviance in international politics.

In: European Review of International Studies
Authors: Hossein Nassaji and Jun Tian

Introduction Constructivism is often broadly divided into two branches – cognitive and social with Jean Piaget and Lev Vygotsky as the key figures leading the two schools of thought. The major difference between the two schools of thought is their different views on the importance of social

In: Issues in Applying SLA Theories toward Reflective and Effective Teaching