Devi's 'paradox'

Beverly Walker (
12 Oct 1995 09:34:53 +1000

Re your assertions that:-

"The point I'm making is that positivism according to Comte is about always
being _able to decide_ whether you're right or wrong provided the evidence is
whereas constructivism is about deliberately eschewing that position;
which to the constructivist must include the possibility that the
positivists are right;
but if so, then the constructivist position is untenable",

I can't claim to have a clear mind - and Bill may be in no such condition
either at the moment since he's off the grog- but I suspect you are using the
superordinates of positivism to evaluate constructivism, and inevitably it
comes off worse than positivism. Now if we use the superordinates of
viz.: the point is that we must decide from the evidence whether what we've
done using positivist or constructivist approaches is USEFUL or not, whether
it leads to fresh predictions or not. Then I suspect you might find that the
constructivist position wins out over the positivist since the positivists'
focus on the truth value of their theories means that the question of utility
is a 'ho hum' to them, just as the question of veracity is to us.

Beverly Walker