Realism and Constructivism 1

Larval Subjects .

borromeantheoryOver on Facebook, my friend Carl Sachs expresses sympathy for social epistemologies and wonders whether it’s possible to be both a social constructivist and a realist.  As it turns out, this is an issue I’ve struggled with a great deal as well.  As I remark in the introduction to The Democracy of Objects, what I want is not a rejection of social constructivist positions, but rather a framework that is sophisticated enough to make room for both correlationist frames of thought and realism.  In subsequent work, I’ve referred to this with the rather inelegant term “borromean critical theory”.  Drawing on the resources of Lacan’s borromean knot along with the Venn diagram in logic, I’ve tried to think the intersections and divergences between nature, signs, and phenomenological experience.  I realize the danger of evoking the term “nature”, so carefully critiqued by Latour and others, yet I’ve been unable to find…

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