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I have been asked to clarify my thoughts on social constructions. One way to interpret reality is through the lenses of root metaphors. Stephen Pepper stated that 4 root metaphors are adequate to construct and explain all that we experience: Mechanism (the world is a machine), Organicism (the world is an organism), Formism (the world consists of similarities) and Contextualism (the world consists of interactions). Culturally, we can find ample evidence of individuals, groups and societies using different root metaphors as their basic "framework" for interpreting the world. IF we choose to view the world through the root metaphor of Contextualism, then the world consists of interactions, specifically our interactions with it and each other. Therefore EVERYTHING is a social construction. This interactionist view is consistent with Zen Buddhism, sub-atomic physics and symbolic action. IF we choose to view the world through the root metaphor of Mechanism, then the world consists of objects with properties and functions which can be objectively acted upon. Therefore social constructions exist only as "figurative" devices. This view is consistent with Calvinism, Aristotelian logic, Newtonian physics and information theory. What's interesting (to me) is how difficult it is to hold two filters up to our eyes at the same time. It's easy to look at the world one way and then another, but to encompass two or more root metaphors simultaneously is tantamount to insanity (or sainthood). Incidentally, I believe root metaphors have great significance in instructional design. Jerry McCollum, Dir. Biomedical Communicatons Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164 firstname.lastname@example.org 509-335-2624