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Social Constructivism & Related Concepts

What are the major differences between scientific realism, anti-realism, and irrealism? What is meant by social constructivism, and how is it associated with these three positions?

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These are really difficult concepts to grasp! I'm going to try to give you a really short definition of each and then suggest some sources for you to read.

First, all of these concepts have to do with knowledge. As you read about these philosophical concepts, you will encounter the word "epistemology," which means "the theory of knowledge." Realism, anti-realism, and irrealism are all different ideas on how humans acquire knowledge.

You obviously are a student right now. You are acquiring knowledge through books, lectures, social interaction, etc. You also acquire knowledge through experiences. For instance, if you put your hand on a hot stove once, will you ever do it again? Most likely, no. So think about all the things you know - including such basic things as not touching a hot stove. Everything you have read, understood, experienced, etc., is your body of knowledge. Now just think of that when you read the definitions.

• Scientific realism is knowledge that can be justified through observation or using scientific methods. A good example of ...

Solution Summary

The solution differentiates the terms: scientific realism, anti-realism, and irrealism. It also discusses social constructivism as it relates to the 3 terms in 734 words.