David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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British Journal of Educational Studies 50 (3):339 - 362 (2002)
It is not uncommon in educational research and social science in general either to eschew the word truth or to put it in scare quotes in order to signify scepticism about it. After the initial wave of relativism in the philosophy of natural science, a second wave has developed in social science with the rise of postmodernism and poststructuralism. The tendency here is to relativise truth or to bracket out questions of truth. In contradistinction, this paper revindicates the metaphysical nature of truth. Truth is a transcendental precondition of educational inquiry and is best understood as a formal, regulative norm. Realism about truth enjoins a defence of the correspondence theory, which is provided here. At the same time, however, the development of realism in the social sciences has ironically followed the postmodernists in its scepticism about truth and its rejection of the correspondence theory. This paper critically appraises such recent developments, since all research is unintelligible without realism about the social world and whether our substantive knowledge-claims correspond with it.
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Pauli Siljander (2011). What Are We Looking For?—Pro Critical Realism in Text Interpretation. Journal of Philosophy of Education 45 (3):493-510.
Jim Mackenzie (2011). Positivism and Constructivism, Truth and 'Truth'. Educational Philosophy and Theory 43 (5):534-546.
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