Slimy Constructivists

October 11, 2019

There is something that feels fundamentally dishonest and slimy about constructivism, and I have no doubt that constructivists could explain to me why it is some “intellectual weakness” or something that makes me feel that way, some lack of rationality, but I disagree, basically it all sounds like bullshit.

As soon as you detach from the real world, everything starts to feel draining, burdening, soul-sucking. This is shit only for eggheads, people willing to get so lost in abstractions that they pour mountains of energy into tangling, unraveling, and re-tangling threads of thought that ultimately amount to nothing, and if they achieve anything at all, it’s only to convince people that all efforts amount to nothing.

I deal with abstractions professionally, I have nothing against complex ideas or creating abstractions. I have nothing against pure math, or music theory, rich fictional worlds, or all kinds of things that can be more or less divorced from the “real world”.

I remember hearing Richard Feynman say that whenever he investigated a math problem, he was always motivated by some real-world example.

I’m comfortable with complexity and abstraction, but I’m not comfortable with relativism. I can’t avoid the suspicion that relativists have ill intentions and purposefully prefer confusion because it disempowers people.

Relativists want to destroy foundations, anchors, and goals, which means we can’t build anything, we drift aimlessly, and we can’t go anywhere. Experientially, I can say that this is in conflict with reality. A constructivist could say my knowledge of reality is dependent on whatever arbitrary factors and that a different person could have a completely different, but valid, knowledge of reality constructed from their arbitrary factors, but the argument is bullshit. It is possible to directly experience reality, and that experience of unconditioned reality is the same for everyone.

I’ll leave it for people with more inclination (maybe me one day in the future, I don’t know) to investigate if you really can equate constructivism with relativism.

Tags: philosophy