In the social construction of what the distinguished philosopher looks at how this kind of argument works and particularly at cases in the natural sciences and with social phenomena like child abuse in which it can endanger a clear sense of what reality is. Lost in the raging debate over the validity of social construction is the question of what precisely is being constructed facts gender quarks reality ian hackings book explores an array of examples to reveal the deep issues underlying contentious accounts of reality especially troublesome in this dispute is the status of the natural sciences and this is where hacking finds some of . The social construction of what is a collection of papers not a systematic treatment but it hangs together daniel johnson the new york times book review given the vitriol on both sides of the science wars hacking serves a valuable function by explaining in language as clear as it is . For sociologists his dismissal of the social of social construction theses as redundant should give pause in that regard while hackings work of philosophical clarification is timely and important it provides little methodological help for people who want to do serious sociologically informed work on knowledge perhaps not hacking
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