Critical Constructionist Theory in the Human Sciences
Edited By Jennifer Sarah Cooper
In these crooked times of chaotic and contradictory discourses in every social sphere, from politics to food production, "ideology" has become the buzzword to represent some solid structure on which to cling or under which to recoil, in an effort to understand reality. But how this structure is built and what it ultimately upholds – this is a primary focus of the Human Sciences. In this book, the author argues that in the Human Sciences, from its founders to contemporaries, a common premise is apparent: the fundamental property of all human-social reality is its character as something constructed. Through a vast set of analyses and reflections of his own, and by philosophers, psychologists, psychoanalysts, sociologists, anthropologists, neuroscientists and linguists, the author shows how this premise, applied, which he coins as critical constructionist theory, constitutes the fundamental theory of the Human Sciences. The book also traces how the main development of this theory gave rise to critical deconstructionism – philosophical, sociological, and anthropological – as an analytical procedure in contemporary studies and research, valid in discussions on culture, ethics, human rights, gender, sexuality and ethnicities. Understanding the role ideology plays in this construction, then, is key to liberation from oppressive conceptual structures of reality. This book exposes that role.
A theory could therefore only emerge when the science was fairly well advanced.
— Émile Durkheim, The Rules of Sociological Method
A science that hesitates to forget its founders is lost.
— Alfred North Whitehead, The Organization of Thought
For a scientific mind, all knowledge is an answer to a question. If there has been no question, there can be no scientific knowledge. Nothing is self-evident. Nothing is given. Everything is constructed.
— Gaston Bachelard, The Formation of the Scientific Mind
it may be precisely the partiality of a text which conditions the radical character of its insights.
— Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter
“Often books speak of other books,” Umberto Eco1 declared. In this work, I will speak of many other books. I will mention many other authors – those who have inspired me, or whose work has supported mine in some way and provided a foundation for it, and others of whom I am critical, or disagree with and rebut. In presenting the ideas contained in these studies, I form my own arguments and ideas. When Simone de Beauvoir proclaimed that reading allows you to inhabit another’s skin, she also summed up the experience of the writer: writing makes reference to, then accepts or rebuts, what others have written before them. As John Gagnon explains: “No writer has ever been the first, though confusing oneself with God is a writer’s temptation; no one writes alone,...
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