Pragmatic Constructivism

Pragmatic constructivism as used herein is viewed as the collection of heuristics used to deal with the complexities of individuality in a context dependent domain.  Again there is no place in or discussion for the all too vast philosophical literature on the varieties of constructionism and constructivism.  Our concern is with the practitioner. While many practitioners believe that simple perception is "good enough" for most situations, constructivism is the tools and beliefs they use when simple perceptions fail to adequately capture the import of context or situation. 

When simple perceptions are inadequate, the need for tools that enable better access to the "what, who, and how much" that one needs to know in order to act becomes painfully obvious. The pragmatic constructivist is happy to accept the scientific realists models as a base which must then be modified to account for boundaries, constraints, and the manifold possibilities inherent in the interactions of large numbers of autonomous and semi-autonomous agents.  Such modifications are rooted in the observer/actor's understanding of the situation at hand -- an understanding which itself can be molded by the interactions it observes and participates in.

Where reliable prediction serves as a justification principle for the scientific realist, affordances for action serve a similar role for the pragmatic constructivist.  Explanations in the form of "how" easily fill this niche; "why" explanations are more problematic.  Regularities and pre-given order are merely the base upon which an individual understanding can be constructed -- rather than an explanation in and of themselves.  Where measure could have explanatory meaning for the scientific realist, the pragmatic constructivist finds that anomalies and perturbations can have explanatory meaning through narrative.