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Old Debates and Modern Physics A New Look at Explanatory/Constitutive Theories and Foundational/Anti-foundational Theories

Yang Chun Hee 1

1경희대학교

Candidate

ABSTRACT

This study aims to take a look at the never-ending debates of positivism vs. post-positivism with a new framework of explanatory/constitutive and foundational/anti- foundational theories. Explanatory theories, which claim that the natural and social worlds are the same, either end up with determinism or with the focus on normative theories, both of which posing serious logical problems with the main aims of explanatory theories. On the other hand, constitutive theories which claim that our theories actually help construct the world is in harmony with our common sense and historical experiences. However, when constitutive theories take the position of anti-foundational approach, we find little differences among religion, philosophy, propaganda, and constitutive theories. This article hopes to find a new ground between explanatory/constitutive and foundational/anti-foundational theories. While most explanatory theories take the foundational approach, constitutive theories being anti-foundational, this study claims that the path of constitutive and foundational theories are possible. With the help of modern physics, characterized by Einstein's theory of relativity and quantum mechanics, this study shows that 'truth' can be relativistic and that we might actually create a reality we once thought them to be the 'objective' reality out there that is beyond our control. And yet, we can still have a foundational ground to judge which theories and thinking offer a better description of the reality out there.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.