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Political EpistemicsThe Secret Police, the Opposition, and the End of East German Socialism$
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Andreas Glaeser

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780226297934

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226297958.001.0001

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Constituting Understandings through Validations

Constituting Understandings through Validations

(p.165) 3 Constituting Understandings through Validations
Political Epistemics

Andreas Glaeser

University of Chicago Press

This chapter concerns argument of individualistic theories of belief as they are manifest, for example, in much of opinion research and social psychology, by revealing their unrealistic ontological presuppositions. It shows that understandings are better analyzed through their constitution within three intersecting contexts. Firstly, because understanding is indissolubly social it must always be analyzed from within the interactions with other persons. The stability of understanding discusses Wittgenstein's late philosophy as the result of interactions within networks of authority. Secondly, because particular differentiations and integrations are always building on other understandings they must be analyzed in relationship to these. Emphasis is placed especially on the fact that these relationships are highly differentiated, qualitatively and quantitatively. Thirdly, since understandings characteristically respond to orientational needs in the real world, they must be seen in relation to its experience, and even more precisely through the experience of understandings in use.

Keywords:   individualistic theories, Wittgenstein's late philosophy, orientational needs, understandings, interactions

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