Purpose: The text searches for possible uses of a daring postulate to reject dualism, formulated by Josef Mitterer. Furthermore, it explores the inconsistencies of dualism and its remnants in three projects: Richard Rorty’s neopragmatism, the strong program of the sociology of knowledge, and radical constructivism. The final aim of the argument is to demonstrate that a very interesting incorporation of Mitterer’s postulates is possible, and that it must take the form of a consistent antiessentialism. At this point the article presents Bruno Latour’s actor-network theory. Findings: The article underlines the specific role of the so-called other side of the discourse – which, according to Mitterer is fabricated by the dualizing mode of speaking. Such an instance is a priori essentialized and it plays a crucial role as a tool for settling arguments. The text traces the role of this instance in the concepts mentioned above. Benefits: Through the use of Latour’s constructivism, the text indicates that there exists a fruitful empirical (non-speculative) research program, which was projected in accordance with Mitterer’s postulates.
This article indicates something of the enormous influence of constructivism on contemporary science education. The article distinguishes educational constructivism (that has its origins in theories of children’s learning), from constructivism in the philosophy of science (usually associated with instrumentalist views of scientific theory), and from constructivism in the sociology of science (of which the Edinburgh Strong Programme in the sociology of scientific knowledge is the best known example). It notes the expansion of educational constructivism from initial considerations of how children come to learn, to views about epistemology, educational theory, ethics, and the cognitive claims of science. From the learning-theory beginnings of constructivism, and at each stage of its growth, philosophical questions arise that deserve the attention of educators. Among other things, the article identifies some theoretical problems concerning constructivist teaching of the content of science.