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ERIC Number: EJ924550
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Mar
Pages: 36
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 34
ISSN: ISSN-0926-7220
Radical Constructivism, and the Sin of Relativism
Quale, Andreas
Science & Education, v16 n3-5 p231-266 Mar 2007
The epistemology of "relativism" that is featured by the theory of radical constructivism is addressed. In particular, I examine several objections, all based on this epistemic position of relativism, that are often raised by critics of the theory: the charge of "reality denial" (which, it is often claimed, must lead ultimately to the epistemically problematic position of "solipsism"), the assertion of "self-referential contradiction" (a theory that rejects the notion of truth cannot itself claim to be true), and the accusation that the theory must lead to a position of "ethical indifference." It is demonstrated that these objections do not hold: they arise, to a large extent, from the failure to distinguish properly between different knowledge domains--specifically, between the notions of cognitive and non-cognitive knowledge. Some concrete examples, specifically pertaining to the conflict between natural science and creationism, are addressed; and their relevance for science education is discussed.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A