Publication 3758

Raskin J. D. (2002) Defending constructivist ethics after September 11. The Humanistic Psychologist 30(3): 281–292. Fulltext at
In the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks, constructivist psychology has been criticized for its presumed “anything goes” relativism and passivity. This paper counters such a view, arguing that while constructivism does accept perspectivism, it rejects “anything goes. ” Constructivist psychologists evaluate responses to terrorism in terms of meaningfulness and viability. They suggest that there are an unlimited number of possible responses to terrorism, none of which are precluded simply because constructivists are skeptical that human experience constitutes a mirror on external reality. Believing that human beings invent ways of understanding to guide them through their lives does not preclude constructivists from taking action. On the contrary, it provides the very basis for such action. The implications of this position are briefly outlined.

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