Constituting Understandings through Validations

Andreas Glaeser

in Political Epistemics

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780226297934
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226297958 | DOI:
Constituting Understandings through Validations

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This chapter concerns argument of individualistic theories of belief as they are manifest, for example, in much of opinion research and social psychology, by revealing their unrealistic ontological presuppositions. It shows that understandings are better analyzed through their constitution within three intersecting contexts. Firstly, because understanding is indissolubly social it must always be analyzed from within the interactions with other persons. The stability of understanding discusses Wittgenstein's late philosophy as the result of interactions within networks of authority. Secondly, because particular differentiations and integrations are always building on other understandings they must be analyzed in relationship to these. Emphasis is placed especially on the fact that these relationships are highly differentiated, qualitatively and quantitatively. Thirdly, since understandings characteristically respond to orientational needs in the real world, they must be seen in relation to its experience, and even more precisely through the experience of understandings in use.

Keywords: individualistic theories; Wittgenstein's late philosophy; orientational needs; understandings; interactions

Chapter.  20556 words. 

Subjects: Social Theory

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