Organization theory and philosophy: dissolving the realism-constructivism debate

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    Abstract

    The topic of this paper is the constructivism-realism debate, construed as an example of the intrusion of philosophy into science. Against this intrusion I maintain that philosophical problems are not only different from scientific and practical ones. They are also problematic in themselves. That is why their import into our scientific and practical work only creates confusions that hinder us in our work. The aim of the paper is to show that the philosophical problems that create those confusions need a Wittgensteinian therapeutic treatment. The method of the paper consists in comparing what philosophers (or philosophising scientists) say we do with what we actually do. After giving an example of what happens when a rightly respected scientist starts philosophizing, the method is applied, first, to the relation between language and the world and, second, to the relation between theories and the world. In the first application a story about three umpires is used to distinguish language and discourse, between questions of meaning (of the words we use) and questions of truth (of the things we say). In the second application a comparison between maps and theories is used to show the difference between assessing the truth of descriptive statements and explanatory theories. The examples of the umpires and maps are introduced by Weick and in both cases I show that neither constructivist nor metaphysical realist conclusions follow.
    Translated title of the contributionOrganisatietheorie en filosofie: het realisme-constructivisme debat opgelost
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages19
    Publication statusIn preparation - 30 Jan 2019

    Keywords

    • constructivism
    • realism
    • philosophy of science

    Cite this

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    title = "Organization theory and philosophy: dissolving the realism-constructivism debate",
    abstract = "The topic of this paper is the constructivism-realism debate, construed as an example of the intrusion of philosophy into science. Against this intrusion I maintain that philosophical problems are not only different from scientific and practical ones. They are also problematic in themselves. That is why their import into our scientific and practical work only creates confusions that hinder us in our work. The aim of the paper is to show that the philosophical problems that create those confusions need a Wittgensteinian therapeutic treatment. The method of the paper consists in comparing what philosophers (or philosophising scientists) say we do with what we actually do. After giving an example of what happens when a rightly respected scientist starts philosophizing, the method is applied, first, to the relation between language and the world and, second, to the relation between theories and the world. In the first application a story about three umpires is used to distinguish language and discourse, between questions of meaning (of the words we use) and questions of truth (of the things we say). In the second application a comparison between maps and theories is used to show the difference between assessing the truth of descriptive statements and explanatory theories. The examples of the umpires and maps are introduced by Weick and in both cases I show that neither constructivist nor metaphysical realist conclusions follow.",
    keywords = "constructivisme, realisme, filosofie van de wetenschap, constructivism, realism, philosophy of science",
    author = "Jac Christis",
    year = "2019",
    month = "1",
    day = "30",
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    }

    TY - UNPB

    T1 - Organization theory and philosophy

    T2 - dissolving the realism-constructivism debate

    AU - Christis, Jac

    PY - 2019/1/30

    Y1 - 2019/1/30

    N2 - The topic of this paper is the constructivism-realism debate, construed as an example of the intrusion of philosophy into science. Against this intrusion I maintain that philosophical problems are not only different from scientific and practical ones. They are also problematic in themselves. That is why their import into our scientific and practical work only creates confusions that hinder us in our work. The aim of the paper is to show that the philosophical problems that create those confusions need a Wittgensteinian therapeutic treatment. The method of the paper consists in comparing what philosophers (or philosophising scientists) say we do with what we actually do. After giving an example of what happens when a rightly respected scientist starts philosophizing, the method is applied, first, to the relation between language and the world and, second, to the relation between theories and the world. In the first application a story about three umpires is used to distinguish language and discourse, between questions of meaning (of the words we use) and questions of truth (of the things we say). In the second application a comparison between maps and theories is used to show the difference between assessing the truth of descriptive statements and explanatory theories. The examples of the umpires and maps are introduced by Weick and in both cases I show that neither constructivist nor metaphysical realist conclusions follow.

    AB - The topic of this paper is the constructivism-realism debate, construed as an example of the intrusion of philosophy into science. Against this intrusion I maintain that philosophical problems are not only different from scientific and practical ones. They are also problematic in themselves. That is why their import into our scientific and practical work only creates confusions that hinder us in our work. The aim of the paper is to show that the philosophical problems that create those confusions need a Wittgensteinian therapeutic treatment. The method of the paper consists in comparing what philosophers (or philosophising scientists) say we do with what we actually do. After giving an example of what happens when a rightly respected scientist starts philosophizing, the method is applied, first, to the relation between language and the world and, second, to the relation between theories and the world. In the first application a story about three umpires is used to distinguish language and discourse, between questions of meaning (of the words we use) and questions of truth (of the things we say). In the second application a comparison between maps and theories is used to show the difference between assessing the truth of descriptive statements and explanatory theories. The examples of the umpires and maps are introduced by Weick and in both cases I show that neither constructivist nor metaphysical realist conclusions follow.

    KW - constructivisme

    KW - realisme

    KW - filosofie van de wetenschap

    KW - constructivism

    KW - realism

    KW - philosophy of science

    M3 - Working paper

    BT - Organization theory and philosophy

    ER -