TWO PERSPECTIVES:   

Scientific Realism versus Pragmatic Constructivism  (both moderated by Common Sense)

Common Sense Scientific Realism is often modeled as taking Newtonian physics to be the paradigm instance of science. Other sciences are understood via assimilation to the Newtonian model. Explanations are understood to be reductionist and law driven.   While the Scientific Realism practiced by scientists and philosophers is much more nuanced, what it shares with the "common sense" version is an underlying belief in the independent existence of reality and of the fundamental importance of truth. 

The Common Sense Pragmatic Constructivism approach begins by asking what actions are being contemplated and how judgments regarding those actions can be arrived at.  The key to these observations lies in the recognition of the ontological difference between natural entities and those which are the product of human construction - while the "natural" entities can be referred to as "pre-given" and thus "described" (functional explanation), human constructions are always changing and requisite explanations demand mechanism and explication of relationships.  This form of Constructivism is less concerned with the idea that man "constructs" reality and more concerned with the notion that "what matters" is the representations of a supposed reality that we opt to deal with at a given time.  Truth is thus irrelevant and "reality" is observer dependent.

Our task is to find a means of reconciling these two perspectives with regard to the issues surrounding explanation.  No one claimed this task would be easy.