Cultural-Anthropological Basis of Strong Constructivism in Social Cognition


  • O. N. Kubalskyi Dobrov Institute for Scientific and Technological Potential and Science History Studies of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Ukraine



cultural anthropology, strong constructivism, fictionalism, realism, epistemic cultures, local epistemic practices


Purpose. This article is aimed at identifying the cultural-anthropological limits of the applicability of strong constructivism in social cognition. Theoretical basis. The study of epistemic cultures, carried out by the modern German philosopher of science Karin Knorr Cetina, gave reasons to rethink the role of cultural anthropology as a methodological basis of strong constructivism not only for scientific cognition, but also for educational practices, and perhaps also for some other social practices. An important role in identifying less successful versions of strong constructivism was played by the concept of fictionalism of the German philosopher Hans Veihinger, the Chilean biologists Humberto Maturán and Francisco Varela, and the German sociologist and philosopher Niklas Luhmann. Originality. Strong constructivism has broad prospects for use within cultural anthropology as an identification of the cultural foundations of human nature. Local research and educational practices are defined as a model for the formation of those social characteristics of their participants, which they themselves change through self-improvement. Strong constructivists involve the individual empirical experience of researchers, and also correct the inherited rules of scientific research as elements of research procedures and practices, thanks to which they achieve the creation of a common epistemic culture and the elimination of myths about the isolation of scientific cognition from the world. Conclusions. False ways of interpreting strong constructivism as fictionalism and as realism have been revealed. Fictionalism, as a methodology focused on the study of the contents of consciousness, loses the empirical experience of the world. Philosophical realism as positivism in the philosophy of science reduces the significance of scientific discoveries to confirmation of the laws of nature. Karin Knorr Cetina’s proposal to consider constructivism "on its own terms" appears not as a moderate compromise between these extremes, but as the only possible way to adequately reconcile the work of nature and the conscious activity of man. Such coordination takes place primarily in the creation of local epistemic cultures as a collective activity of researchers.


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How to Cite

Kubalskyi, O. N. (2024). Cultural-Anthropological Basis of Strong Constructivism in Social Cognition. Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research, (25), 51–60.