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A recent posting in the social construction discussion offered the comment that there are a number of paradigmatic ways, in European culture at least, to construe the nature of anything (wasn't Aristotle always saying the same thing?), such as mechanism, formalism, etc. What particularly interested me was the suggestion that it is very hard to operate with more than one of these at a time. For the most part they are disjunctive discourses in our culture, and it does take a pretty dialectical approach to play them fruitfully off against one another. Anyone seriously interested in how sophisticated social constructivism deals with issues of material phenomena might like to take a look at a paper I recently did on the relation of semiotics and the social construction of meaning to the dynamics of the complex material ecological and social systems in which the exercise of meaning-making is necessarily embedded. For a limited time only, I will offer the paper by email (request Cultural Dynamics paper), since its publication date is still, in the nature of these things, a ways off. FYI, my doctorate and early research was in theoretical physics, and I have worked for many years in the fields of social semiotics, discourse analysis, and linguistic text semantics. JAY LEMKE. City University of New York. BITNET: JLLBC@CUNYVM INTERNET: JLLBC@CUNYVM.CUNY.EDU