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Open peer commentary on the article “What Can the Global Observer Know?” by Diana Gasparyan. Upshot: While I agree with Gasparyan’s incisive critique of the concept of the “general observer,” her use of the concept of “event” is somewhat ambiguous. On the one hand, she equates “events” to Wittgenstein’s and (and, truly, Leibniz’s) “configurations of objects” or “states of affairs” and she consider the world as a collection of such states of affairs. On the other hand, she cites Badiou’s work in support of her criticism of the “general observer.” Yet Badiou’s conception of events is very different from Wittgenstein’s: they are locally produced by historically (hence, spatio-temporally) situated agents in their concrete inter-subjective (social) activities. I argue that a resolution of the target article’s ambiguity in favour of Badiou’s conception of events would allow constructivism to escape a narrow epistemological reading of its basic thesis (which Gasparyan convincingly defends) in favor of a broader interpretation.
Franchi S. (2015) Which events is the world made of? Constructivist Foundations 10(2): 250–252. http://constructivist.info/10/2/250
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