Constructivism in Education is a lively discussion of the varieties of constructivist thought which have been applied to the teaching of school subjects, especially science and mathematics. Contributors include philosophers of education and specialists in science, mathematics, and childhood education.
In international relations (IR), the theory of constructivism argues that the complicated web of international relations is not the result of basic human nature or some other unchangeable aspect but has been built up over time and through shared assumptions.
Constructivism Reconsidered synthesizes the nature of and debates on constructivism in international relations, providing a systematic assessment of the constructivist research program in IR to answer specific questions: What extent of (dis)agreement exists with regard to the meaning of constructivism? To what extent is constructivism successful as an alternative approach to rationalism in explaining and understanding international affairs? Constructivism Reconsidered explores constructivism’s theoretical, empirical, and methodological strengths and weaknesses, and debates what these say about its past, present, and future to reach a better understanding of IR in general and how constructivism informs IR in particular.
German Idealism as Constructivism is the culmination of many years of research by distinguished philosopher Tom Rockmore—it is his definitive statement on the debate about German idealism between proponents of representationalism and those of constructivism that still plagues our grasp of the history of German idealism and the whole epistemological project today. Rockmore argues that German idealism—which includes iconic thinkers such as Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel—can best be understood as a constructivist project, one that asserts that we cannot know the mind-independent world as it is but only our own mental construction of it.
Since ancient Greece philosophers have tried to know the world in itself, an effort that Kant believed had failed. His alternative strategy—which came to be known as the Copernican revolution—was that the world as we experience and know it depends on the mind. Rockmore shows that this project was central to Kant’s critical philosophy and the later German idealists who would follow him. He traces the different ways philosophers like Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel formulated their own versions of constructivism. Offering a sweeping but deeply attuned analysis of a crucial part of the legacy of German idealism, Rockmore reinvigorates this school of philosophy and opens up promising new avenues for its study.
Arguably the best available introduction to constructivism, a research paradigm that has dominated the history of science for the past forty years, Making Natural Knowledge reflects on the importance of this theory, tells the history of its rise to prominence, and traces its most important tensions.
Viewing scientific knowledge as a product of human culture, Jan Golinski challenges the traditional trajectory of the history of science as steady and autonomous progress. In exploring topics such as the social identity of the scientist, the significance of places where science is practiced, and the roles played by language, instruments, and images, Making Natural Knowledge sheds new light on the relations between science and other cultural domains.
"A standard introduction to historically minded scholars interested in the constructivist programme. In fact, it has been called the 'constructivist's bible' in many a conference corridor."—Matthew Eddy, British Journal for the History of Science
"The conversation between political psychology and constructivism is essential and long overdue. By exploring the interaction of individual cognition and social processes, this 'ideational alliance' more fully explains how ideas work all the way down to shape world politics."
---Theo Farrell, King's College London
"This is a worthwhile and engaging volume. Political psychology is gaining ground as an essential perspective to consider when analyzing international relations, and the book's focus on constructivism provides key insights into the relationship between identity, norms, and behavior---bedrock concepts in understanding the social underpinnings of global politics."
---Mira Sucharov, Carleton University
"An indispensable guide to understanding what distinguishes and what unites psychology and constructivism. A wonderful resource for political psychologists, constructivists, and their critics."
---Jonathan Mercer, University of Washington
Constructivist IR scholars study the ways in which international norms, culture, and identities---all intersubjective phenomena---inform foreign policy and affect the reaction to and outcomes of international events. Political psychologists similarly investigate divergent national self-conceptions as well as the individual cognitive and emotional propensities that shape ideology and policy. Given their mutual interest in human subjectivity and identity politics, a dialogue and synthesis between constructivism and political psychology is long overdue.
The contributors to this volume discuss both theoretical and empirical issues of complementarity and critique, with an emphasis on the potential for integrating the viewpoints within a progressive ideational paradigm. Moreover, they make a self-conscious effort to interrogate, rather than gloss over, their differences in the hope that such disagreements will prove particularly rich sources of analytical and empirical insight.