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The Constructed View of Our World

The Constructed View of Our World

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Published by William Molnar

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Published by: William Molnar on May 16, 2009
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William Molnar 
Given Sayer’s comments in Chapter 2, it is clear that he rejects the view that we each construct our ownworld, or that what is true for you may not be true for me. What do you think? Do you accept Sayer’sreasoning? What are the implications of each view for science?Sayer (1992) states that “science was seen as the steady accretion of objective knowledge through theunproblematic medium of observation or experience” (p 45). I think that the view that a scientistexperiences based on this quotation is not based on observation or experience, but on some pre-determined expectation of what is to be viewed. Sayer also says that “The contrast of fact and theory isbeing invoked here as if it were indisputable” (p 45). I believe that Sayer is stating that there IS a conrastbetween fact and theory but is being brought on by a higher power and treated as though it can’t bedisputed when in reality, it can. In his section on sense and reference and the conceptual and theempirical, Sayer argues the distinction between a reference and its sense. He states that “these ‘sense-relations’ may be of different types. It then appears reasonable to say that the sense-relations representthe contribution of language, as if this were separable from the act of reference, and conversely as if thelatter were possible independently of language, by simple pointing at the object. This separation thenresonates with the separation of observation from interpretation” (p 57). I believe that this statementsupports the theory that Sayer rejects the view that we construct our own world.In his discussion on concept and schemata, Sayer states that “Good artists can use the mosthighly developed, richly differentiated schemata so skillfully that they enable us to see things in a newway. The equivalent is true for the use of concepts in science and everyday practice” (p 59). Again, Sayer is showing us that what is true for you may not be true for me. What this artist is doing may paint a pictureof something that you will see that is different from what I see. The not true for you but true for mestatement. Sayer says that “statements have to be intersubjectively negotiated, in order first to beestablished as intelligible and second as true or false” ( p 65). Here is an opportunity for one to determinewhat is true or not true. Again the opportunity to construct our world of what is true for you may not be truefor me theory.This brings up the issue of the gestalt switch. Sayer argues that scientists cannot changeparadigms. As an example, to switch from seeing a duck to a rabbit within the picture, the person mustalready know what each looks like (p 74). “The usual interpretation of the gestalt switch overlooks this andtherefore underestimates the continuites spanning so-called scientific revolution (p 74). I may see a duck
William Molnar 
and you may see a rabbit. I Believe this shows the theory of what is true for you but not for me statement.Finally, Sayer says that “ It can sometimes be enlightening to look at an old subject in acompletely different way, borrowing concepts from other theories. This may improve the existing system“ (p 77). This existing system would hold to Sayer’s comments tha he rejects the view that each constructour own world. We may be looking at an old subject in a different way, but it is still the same subject nomatter which way you look at it. Since it would be impossible for people to look at an old subjectdifferently and will have a different perception of it, the decision of what is true for you and not true for mewill be decided based on the perception. Each time this is viewed, a new answer or perception will beseen. No one person will have a clear and exact answer. It all depends on interpretation. This brings upthe issue of the gestalt switch. Sayer argues that scientists cannot change paradigms. I believe that after reading and reviewing chapter 2 of Sayer’s book, I would have to agree with Sayer’s theory especially thestatement of what is true for you may not be true for me. I can relate this to my employment. Each teacher that works within my school views the child differently. I feel that because I am extremely educated (3Master’s degrees and almost half through my PhD) and have 20 years experience with inner city andtroubled children, I view them in a different way then say a teacher who has less experience and only abachelor’s degree. I can see and understand things that other teachers can’t. I believe that I was sent intothe inner-school for a purpose. That is whay I would have to say that we don’t construct our world, it isalready constructed for us.
ayer (1992) states that some people believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution is“’just a theory’ and ‘not fact’” (p. 45). I think the argument of what came first, thechicken or the egg is another theory open for discussion. To answer the question, Iaccept Sayer’s theory. We don’t construct our own world, it constructed us.Everything happens for a reason is a phrase we often hear. What may be true forme is not always true for you.Sayer (1992) states that “any conclusions on this matter depend on how we

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