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Constructivism and the inescapability of moral choices: a response to Raskin and Debany

Burr, Vivien (2017) Constructivism and the inescapability of moral choices: a response to Raskin and Debany. Journal of Constructivist Psychology. ISSN 1072-0537 (In Press)

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In their paper on ethics, Raskin and Debany (in press) raise a number of important
issues that merit discussion and that have implications for a constructivist stance on
ethics, an issue that has dogged constructivist and social constructionist theory, and
that has in the past been the focus of a good deal of debate. In my response to their
paper, I will focus on two issues before going on to consider what these imply for a
constructivist ethics. The first is the status of ‘reality’; drawing on the work of French
philosophers, Discursive Psychology and Symbolic Interactionism, I will argue that the
constructivist conception of reality has been widely misunderstood and will outline
what I regard as a defensible construction of ‘reality’. The second issue concerns the
relationship between the individual and the social world; drawing again on earlier work
in micro-sociology I will argue that the ‘constructed’ individual must be understood as
emerging from the social realm rather than pre-existing it and argue for Personal
Construct Psychology as a candidate for filling the subjectivity ‘gap’ in social
constructionism. Finally, I will use these conceptualizations of reality and the person to
argue for an ethical stance of ‘radical doubt’ for constructivism.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sally Hughes
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2017 08:43
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2017 18:49


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