A few years ago, a dieting woman, during a dinner we were both attending, told me that her therapist had explained to her that ”hunger is a social construction”. She blamed herself because she was still a slave to this unnecessary feeling.
I venture to say that you have got it wrong in your assessment of life if you think that hunger is a social construction. And I think that little logical error reflects something important about our public discourse. An irresponsible idea that everything could be different if only someone would make an effort to arrange it. Epistemology is a more important cultural issue than we at first realise.
The essence of social constructivism is that nothing that is must necessarily be, nothing is given by nature and thus is not more reasonable than anything else. Through discourse analysis, the social constructivist deconstructs therefore how the structures of power and oppressive values ??falsely present themselves as natural, inevitable or rationally defensible and reasonable, although they are only maintained, by definition, by arbitrary power.
The senses distort reality and give us bad data, highlights the constructivist. This we know by looking at particle physics that our minds cannot comprehend, such as it is, and through the senses imagined essences of things are moulded where no essences exist. Therefore, there is no reason to believe that our estimates are otherwise accurate and relevant.
It is important to see that these beliefs are not based in an era, postmodernism, but comes out of a worldview, radical scepticism, which is a variant of nihilism. Since very few who use postmodern theories (social constructivism and post-humanism are a couple of names they go by) are nihilists by temperament, it is difficult to spot the theories’ foundation. The supporters are rather strongly value-driven.
It is only by ontological nihilism that one can reach the conclusion that all systematisations, norms and assessments that have arisen in human life are arbitrary.
The ideas gained momentum in the 1960s with the big breakthrough for French philosophy (Foucault, Derrida, Lacan and others) and were further developed in American universities. However, versions of them have existed for as long as man has thought about things, the truth and the reality. Plato’s and Aristotle’s respective philosophies were in contradiction with the skepticism and relativism of the sophists.
In some contexts, the theories can be given a clear potential for liberation, even if emancipation in no way implies relativism, on the contrary. They have always had a revolutionary and progressive slant, away from hierarchies and shackles both biological and man-made, but are nevertheless opposed to Marxism (which Karl Popper shows in detail in The Open Society and Its Enemies). If nothing is given by nature, humans can shape their own lives and break away from the current one. This enables relativism to take on the appearance of liberalism, but I would argue that a liberalism which is based in nihilism confuses freedom with full expression.
Notwithstanding this inbuilt emancipation, nihilism and radical scepticism are not a good basis for good and egalitarian libertarian values. If nothing can be said about the true, the good and decent in the world, neither can anything be said of the false, malicious and unreasonable. When reason and the individual are deconstructed not much remains for us. If nature is suspended, you cannot do analysis.
Democracy, equality and liberty are the result of very solid values, materially existing individuals and clear sense judgments. As norms, they are considered closer to the natural endowments than other ideological constructions, hence the concept of natural law.
The natural needs of the biological functions, such as hunger, as with the evolutionarily derivable basic emotions, should be the point where social constructivism falls. But for the nihilist there is no absurdity. Everything is possible except for the idea of ??the nature of things. I await with interest and amazement for the next step in the nihilistic sophists’ battle against reality.