International Conferences Engineering Philosophy & Ethics in Society-EPHES 2014– Copyright © 2014
FORMAT | Presented paper
LANGUAGE | English
HOW TO CITE| SANDU, Antonio. (2014). Social constructionism as core paradigm of appreciative ethics. Prezentată la International Conferences Engineering Philosophy & Ethics in Society-EPHES 2014, 20-22 July 2014, Suceava, România.
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Constructivism and social constructionism both refer to how individuals operate with constructs, understood as operational definitions on reality clippings. Constructivism places the formation of constructs at the level of the individual who designs them on social environment. It is mainly a psychological approach (Sandu, Alexa, Ponea, 2012). Social constructionism places the formation of constructs at the level of interactions in the social environment, individuals assigning and redesigning them towards social environment. It is mainly a sociological approach (Sandu, 2012a) but we consider suitable for social philosophy itself. Social constructionism abandons the idea according to which the individual mind is the mirror of reality. Social construction of reality as a result of the negotiation of interpretations legitimates the appreciative vision derived from the social constructionism among contractualist models. While ethical constructivism emphasizes the rational design of ethical principles as derived from moral reasons, the social constructionism underlines the inter-subjective character of the process of creating ethical sense. Moral norm and virtue are social constructs based on a negotiation between the moral actors involved. The resulted ethical construct will have a rational character, even though during its construction the rational processes were not central. We think that once accepted, a product of the interpretations negotiation, in this case an ethical norm has “contractual” value for the members of the given community. “The natural state” is not a pre-politic one but rather a pre-semiotic one.
We consider appreciative approach a form of ethical semiosis, where the organization or community is the sign of an ethical message extra-institutional negotiated by all stakeholders involved in that social construction. The interpretative contract operates as local dictionary, but also as generative grammar that controls the creation of meanings process. The consequential dimension of appreciative ethic comes from the model orientation towards what gives meaning and produce development to the system. Consequences are designed specifically as results of appreciative process.
Social constructionism, paradigm, appreciative ethics.