Social Constructionism as Cognitive Science


Dickins, Thomas E. 2004. Social Constructionism as Cognitive Science.
AuthorsDickins, Thomas E.

Social constructionism is a broad position that emphasizes the importance of human social processes in psychology. These processes are generally associated with language and the ability to construct stories that conform to the emergent rules of 'language games'. This view allows one to espouse a variety of critical postures with regard to realist commitments within the social and behavioural sciences, ranging from outright relativism (language constructs all of our concepts) to a more moderate respect for the 'barrier' that linguistic descriptions can place between us and reality. This paper first outlines some possible social constructionist viewpoints and then goes on to show how each of them conforms to the basic principles of information theory. After establishing this relation the paper then argues that this leads to a deal of commonality between social constructionist positions and the baseline aims of cognitive science. Finally, the paper argues that if information theory is held in common this both suggests future research collaborations and helps to 'mop up' some of the arguments surrounding realist commitments.

KeywordsInformation; Social function; Natural function; Ontology
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Deposited11 Feb 2010
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