Social Construction As An Ethics Of Infinitude: Reply To Brinkmann

Document Type

Response or Comment

Publication Date


Published In

Journal Of Humanistic Psychology


This article responds to Svend Brinkmann's (2005) critique of social constructionism, and most particularly to his charges that constructionist ideas contribute to an ethos of consumerism, ultimately related, as he sees it, to an ethics of infinitude. For Brinkmann, such an ethic denies the unconstructed facts of interdependency and mortality. These realities, for Brinkmann, are essential to any moral foundations at all. As I attempt to demonstrate, consumerism is one among many potential implications of constructionist ideas; however, the more demanding question is how to sustain concepts of trust and commitment in a globalizing world of multiple relationships. I further challenge Brinkmann's characterization of constructionism as individualist and raise the possibility that all attempts to generate ethical foundations may be inimical to human life.

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