11. "The Thing itself Always Steals Away": Scholars and the Constitution of their Objects of Study
Constructing Data in Religious Studies - Examining the Architecture of the Academy - Leslie Dorrough Smith
Craig Martin [+]
St. Thomas Aquinas College
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.