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The intro to this article says that there are at least three different uses of the word "contextualism": philosophy of language, ethics, and criminology. Shouldn't this article be disambiguation entry that links to these three different uses of the word? Perhaps the first two should be in one article, since they are both philosophy-related. But the last seems like it should be differentiated. Any objections? - Jaymay 07:03, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Solutions to puzzles?[edit]

Suggestion: Add info about how contextualism in epistemology is supposed to solve several problems in epistemology. - Jaymay 07:03, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Editing & clean up[edit]

I recently made some changes to this article. I didn't consult the Talk page first, only because there was nothing here. Hopefully I'm not imposing. I added references, which I'm sure is okay, and I tried to clean up and add to the epistemology part. - Jaymay 07:03, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Cf. post-structuralism[edit]

Quote from Contextualism
Quote from Post-structuralism
Both share the same spirit, ain't they?

Recently I created Category:Contextualism, including both Contextualism and Post-structuralism, together with many others of course, on the basis of such a shared spirit as illustrated above. See the talk page for the minimal defence. To my greatest dismay, however, a horrible vandalism or more precisely destructionism has been ignited by one who did not know even the spelling and locating of Contextualism. The bad money drives out the good, without persuading why. Is it what Wikipedia is all about in reality? --gybag 03:21, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

Pages in Category:Contextualism[edit]

Pages in category "Contextualism"

There are 81 pages in this section of this category.

The Category I created and filled as above may be entirely deleted soon. This preserved section may help evaluate how nice and wrong I was in that job. --gybag 15:14, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

At odds

Category talk:Contextualism[edit]

The following is the copy and paste of Category talk:Contextualism.

WWWhat is "contextualism", are there any sources to define it, or justify the inclusion of there articles? ... or is this just OR? Pete.Hurd 15:20, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't understand the purpose of this category, and because it is such a heterogeneous grab-bag, it seems a little bit like it might be trying to make some kind of complicated synthetic interpretive point. In what obvious way are I.A. Richards, World Wide Web, John McCarthy (computer scientist), and post-structuralism connected, and why is it important to group them together? In my opinion whatever the purported connection is should either be explained in a well-sourced article or junked as original research, and either way I don't see a strong argument for making it a category. Can someone explain what purpose this serves? -- Rbellin|Talk 18:39, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Contextualism is a legitimate name for several different views in different parts of philosophy (philosophy of language, philosophy of truth, epistemology, and ethics). What any of those views has to do with bionics or the world wide web is beyond me. This category would be legitimate if limited to the philosophical positions that go by the name contextualism, but we probably don't have enough material to warrant a category. I'm guessing this category some attempt at a grand philosophy that would run askew of WP:OR. --best, kevin [kzollman][talk] 20:00, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Category Contextualism[edit]

Hi, you recently added lots of articles to the "contexualism" category. There's no article on "Contexualism" or any other sources to explain what this category is, or otherwise make this category useful. Can you supply reliable sources to support the inclusion of these articles in this category? Pete.Hurd 14:50, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for your concern. But you missed one of two t's in Contextualism. --gybag 15:01, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Hmmm, so I did, but I really don't see why for example: Hypertext, World Wide Web, Dynamical system, Nature versus nurture and David Bohm (to mention just a few) fall into this category, it seems kinda senseless. Pete.Hurd 18:16, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Could you comment on Category talk:Contextualism about what the idea behind the category is, please? -- Rbellin|Talk 18:41, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Sooner or later I will reply to both of you on Category talk:Contextualism. --gybag 00:10, 9 July 2007 (UTC)

(( the above copied and pasted from User talk:KYPark ))

You (Rbellin) asked me to comment about what the idea behind the category is. So you ask about my mental or "psychological context" related to that category page. I'm not sure how much I should say. But I will try to describe it in some detail while inevitably leaving most unsaid. I should not make you spend too much time reading my reply.

This very talk page makes sense only in close relation to the main, category page, rather remotely to the article Contextualism, and so on and so forth. The context is almost boundless. It is up to the reader where to stop within the whole context. Perhaps the more the better as far as it would not be too demanding.

How nice it is to simply click on one page to access or link to another related in context! This is the very idea behind the hypertext and the World Wide Web. This is an objective state of affairs regardless of whether somebody has actually said so or not. This so-called "external," together with "mental" context is a very significant especially when the texts are not enough or truthfully written.

Admittedly, the term context is originally and still primarily literal or verbal, derived from text. But C. K. Ogden & I. A. Richards (1923) took those "extra-linguistic" contexts unprecedentedly very seriously in The Meaning of Meaning. Perhaps, in retrospect, this may well be called the beginning of Contextualism, even though the term may have been invented exclusively of, by, and for philosophers.

Of course, there were others who were so serious, such as Franz Boas in anthropology and Gottlob Frege in philosophy. To the best of my knowledge, however, nobody was more devoted to theorizing the notion of context than Ogden and Richards. It was soon accepted by another famous anthropologist Bronislaw Malinowski. In this regard, together with Franz Boas, he focally contributed to the evolution of cultural anthropology and social anthropology (often "socio-cultural" in unison). These concepts are closely related to cultural relativism, relativism, and holism.

Edward Sapir and Benjamin Whorf inherited this contextualist perspective. I said that hypertext is ascribable to contextualism. Douglas Engelbart, one of the founding fathers of hypertext, admits that he had been influenced by them in relation to that development. The physicist David Bohm also had subscribed to Whorf's research on Hopi language and conceived the notion of "rheomode" as the basic process between the Implicate and Explicate Order"

It is said that all men are created equal, endowed with the same human nature. But they are nurtured by different contexts, environments, surroundings (Ludwig Wittgenstein), backgrounds (John Searle), cultures, or whatever, making their life all different. The terms situation is another significant sense of context, which is essentially dynamic as contrasted with the rather stable background. The term context may be worth a metalinguistic one over all those circular competing synonyms, hence contextualism as well.

In 1975, Hilary Putnam newly promoted semantic externalism in The Meaning of "Meaning"; note the similar title! His claim was that meanings just ain't in the head. This sounds even stronger than meanings just ain't in the text. Compare this with Jacques Derrida's claim that the text is everything and there is nothing outside of the text. Putnam was claiming that the "external context" or extra-linguistic state of affairs is the ultimate source of meanings. In contrast, Donald Davidson's semantic holism is limited to the totality of text or verbal context.

There is still another similar title by David Bohm: Exploration into the meaning of the word "meaning." Strangely, this top-flight quantum physicist devoted the later life to integrating The Two Cultures into Wholeness and the Implicate Order (1980). In effect he claimed the implicitly, tacitly "enfolded," "undivided" wholeness, that is, the ultimate context. Whatever is explicitly conceived, known, or "unfolded" is just a part of the whole, like a holon or hologram. His faithful follower F. David Peat recommends the Ogden and Richards' book as the starter in line with his philosophy.

Admittedly, everything is partial but for the ultimate wholeness or universe. It necessarily entails something yet unsaid, unwritten, unrecognized, hidden, latent, potential, implied, connoted, only suggested, ambigous, ... And, nothing is in isolation, but in context. We do need to "make the implicit explicit" indeed. The part is made explicit by the whole after all. The notions of context and contextualism would be attributable to whatever relationship of whole and part, context and content in hand, holarchy and holon, system and component, wholeness (Bohm) and aboutness (Searle), and so on and so forth.

Incidentally, in 1975 again, there was another striking contextualist movement around UC Berkeley. Their literal meanings or keywords were implicature around Paul Grice and indirect speech act around John Searle, either of which should go beyond literal meanings of expressions to make sense. For example, "I have to work" next to "Do you go to the party?" means "I don't go." These are a matter of context, as a matter of fact.

There are many other tropes or figuratives that make sense beyond literal meanings in virtue of context: entailments, presuppositions, metaphors, metonyms, ironies, personifications, etc. All are more or less similar and different. The context helps clarify so complicated meanings.

The contextualist movement at UC Berkeley culminated in George Lakoff's Metaphors We Live By (1980, with Michael Johnson), whose enormous impact you have to find yourself. My troubled category may help, I hope. Literally it should be attributed to metaphor. On a different abstraction level, however, it would be also attributable to the role of context and contextualism playing there.

Contextualism should be nothing but such a pragmatic perspective or point of view. Just find and enjoy as much meaning as you can from the hidden. Nothing can be said once and for all. It's just part of the whole continuum or context. It is doubtful how many would be satisfied with the content of the articles Context and Contextualism, for example. This is not to blame it but agree that it is just as "incomplete" as any, perhaps forever, and that more in association can be made explicit anytime in virtue of the implicit tacit context. Such agreement should be reached most readily in the context of context and contextualism, I believe. Most of the articles I categorized under Contextualism are selected from such a contextualist perspective, I hope. Let's be more contextualistic here at least. --gybag 06:15, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


I've nominated this category for deletion as original research; see Wikipedia:Categories for discussion/Log/2007 July 9#Category:Contextualism. -- Rbellin|Talk 15:37, 9 July 2007 (UTC)