OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
“I can hear a perspective which says that things don’t exist outside of what we say to each other about them, but you’re right, Jacob: it is hard for me to imagine anyone really subscribing to that worldview, and I use the word “world” loosely. I will, however, take your word for it that you are one such person.”
I don’t think you’re very generous in understanding where I’m coming from. Indeed, there is a philosophical tradition from which I am drawing my perspective. It is not me alone that stakes out such a perspective—though surely the community is smaller than the worldview from which you hail.
I am not talking about existence—that is what you are talking about. Existence is experiential or it isn’t very existential. My point is that I am interested in WHAT STUFF MEANS and not WHETHER OR NOT IT REALLY EXISTS. So, it is incorrect to argue that I mean that “things don’t exist outside of what we say.” It isn’t about existence. It is about meaning—humans make meaning, they interprete and act according to those interpretations. I am a social scientist and so how humans make meaning and how they justify their actions is of extreme interest to me. I have adopted a relational methodology that enables me to study socio-political life as an unfolding series of connections that produce larger or smaller scale networks of connections.