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Oversocialised Epistemology: A Critical Appraisal of Constructivism

  • Volker H. Schmidt (a1)

Abstract

The article looks at some strengths and weaknesses of attempts at socialising the concepts of knowledge and epistemology. Roughly speaking, such socialising is the result of considering these concepts from the sociological point of view. Four consequences of doing so are pointed out. This is followed by a discussion of a number of flaws identified in much of the constructivist literature on the issue. Constructivists have doubtless played an important role in demystifying the notions of knowledge and epistemology. Yet at times they have gone too far by drawing conclusions from their analyses which these analyses are incapable of supporting. At the end of the article, an alternative avoiding the difficulties posed by such conclusions is briefly sketched.

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