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What Are We Looking For?—Pro Critical Realism in Text Interpretation


Correspondence: Pauli Siljander, Educational Sciences, University of Oulu, PO Box 2000, Oulu 90014, Finland.


A visible role in the theoretical discourses on education has been played in the last couple of decades by the constructivist epistemologies, which have questioned the basic assumptions of realist epistemologies. The increased popularity of interpretative approaches especially has put the realist epistemologies on the defensive. Basing itself on critical realism, this article discusses the ontological and epistemological commitments of educational research and its consequences for text interpretation. The article defends ontological realism and the semantic conception of truth against radical constructivist ontology and the epistemic conceptions of truth.