David Kenneth Johnson & Matthew R. Silliman



Saturday, May 15, 2010

From the Back Cover

"Do our thoughts and claims about the world give us rational access to the way the world really is? Can subjective experience ever provide a basis for grasping objective truth? These perennial questions of philosophy reach to the heart of every human endeavor, from education to science to everyday, successful practice. Despite the intuitive and nearly universal appeal of realism, influential thinkers from many fields – including educational theory, psychology, cybernetics, literary criticism, biology, and physics – have long followed the skeptics in denying knowers any kind of reliable bridge to the world.

This slim volume offers the first comprehensive assessment and critique of radical constructivism, a famously skeptical theory of knowledge with a large following across the academic disciplines. Employing a dialogic mode of discourse, the authors have crafted a remarkably accessible treatise that both details the solipsistic perils of antirealism and defends an alternative, constructivist realist account of our place as knowers in the larger, constraining world."


Acknowledgements (iii)
Introduction: Plumbing Philosophy’s Depths (v)
Characters (vii)

Prologue: Query to Bridges (1)
1. A Point of Departure (5)
2. The Dance of Knowledge (11)
3. Knowledge and its Objects (15)
4. Hypothesis and Reality (19)
5. A Rock in Itself (23)
6. Mapping the Territory (29)
7. Pedagogy and Pragmatism (35)
8. Toleration and Truth (41)
9. Fallibility and Skepticism (45)
10. Believing and Knowing (51)
11. Formalizing the Argument (59)
12. Equivocation on Independence (65)
13. Fitness and Correspondence (73)
14. The Reality of the Subject (77)
15. Ontological Agnosticism and Solipsism (81)
16. Poetry in Action (87)
17. Constructivist Realism (91)
Epilogue: Reply to Govier (101)

Bibliography (105)
Index (109)