Journal For The Theory Of Social Behaviour
After decades of acrimonious debate on the nature of scientific knowledge, researchers in the human or social sciences are reaching a state of relative equanimity, a condition that may be characterized as a reflective pragmatism. Yet, even while the context has favored the development of new forms of research, the longstanding ocular metaphor of inquiry remains pervasive. That is, researchers continue the practice of observing what is the case, with the intent to illuminate, understand, report on, or furnish insight into given states of affairs. And, while selectively useful, such an orientation is not only limited in potential but subject to a receding span of application. As I will propose, when the logics of reflective pragmatism are fully extended, we enter a new territory of understanding, one in which the vision of research is radically altered. We replace the captivating gaze on the world as it is with value based explorations into what it could be. This conception of a future forming orientation to research opens the way to new aims, practices, and reflections.
Social research, research methods, pragmatism, social knowledge, action research, liberation science
Kenneth J. Gergen.
"From Mirroring To World-Making: Research As Future Forming".
Journal For The Theory Of Social Behaviour.