Re: Constructivism, truth, and lies

Dusan Stojnov (
Sun, 3 Mar 1996 14:36 +0200

High PCP-ers,

Jon Raskin seems to be happy with the idea that truth and morality and
ethics are hypotheses, and nothing else. But I would be very incomfortable
with the idea that issue of ethics (be it duty, care or virtue) is just
a construct like any other one - or hypotheses like any other one.
There is only one one thing which threatens me more than dogma: this is
a rampant relativism in ethics (and I am affraid that social constructio-
nism will soon need a mighty medicine to cure it posture towards the
issue). If my hypotheses is that you will be happy if I hammer the nail
in your head, Jon, although I am responsible for this way of gathering
knowledge from your painful screaming, than you better pray that there
is at least some dogmacy in my ethical construction of hammering.
What I am trying to say is that perhaps the way you suggested the question should be posed (How should I...) might be a wrong way. It has to be posed in
terms of "us": How should we... BAceuse the question of ethics is a social
thing, rather than personal (and I fully agree with social constructionist issueabout it). And if it is something which concernes "us" rather than "me",
why shouldn't it be construed as a universal issue based on some principle
of universality?
Simply speaking, although de gustibus non disputandum est, we should all
have some common idea about is it moral or not to hammer nails in other people
heads against their will - or at least we shoul tend towards a criterion
by which we can judge the act of daring/hammering - before we do it.
Is it a dogma to construe the issue of ethics in this way, Jon?


Dusan Stojnov
Psychology Department
Faculty of Philosophy
Cika LJubina 18-20
11000 Beograd