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Book: Constructing Data in Religious Studies

Chapter: 11. "[T]he Thing itself Always Steals Away": Scholars and the Constitution of their Objects of Study

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.34176

Blurb:

Poststructuralists have long since argued that scholars constitute their objects of study, in part through the use of discourses that construct reality. Critics often argue that this sort of anti-realism entails a fundamental, dualist opposition between reality-as-it-appears-in-discourse and reality-in-itself. According to their critics, poststructuralists imagine themselves locked into a prison house of language, from which reality-in-itself is inaccessible. In this paper I argue that this critique grossly misrepresents poststructuralism, and that more careful attention to poststructuralist, anti-realist arguments is necessary before dismissing them.

Chapter Contributors

  • Craig Martin (cmartin@stac.edu - cmartin) 'St. Thomas Aquinas College'