In the September 2003 issue, Meckler and Baillie correctly argued that social constructionists need not deny the importance of truth or objectivity. This comment probes their understanding of those two concepts. The view that truth entails correspondence with the facts, although not false, is not helpful. Our understanding of truth must be able to encompass the truth of normative claims and counterfactuals and of "deeper" truths. Meckler and Baillie's view that an objective statement is one that is independent of our beliefs is also challenged. All statements depend on our beliefs but these beliefs are themselves more or less plausible and self-evident. An objective statement can thus be understood as one whose background conditions are viewed as reasonable or self-evident. Various implications follow: Objectivity is a matter of degree, and one can reasonably speak of the objectivity of our norms as much as the objectivity of our fact claims.

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Journal of Management Inquiry
Carleton University

Ryan, P. (2005). Meckler and Baillie on truth and objectivity: A commentary. Journal of Management Inquiry (Vol. 14, pp. 120–126). doi:10.1177/1056492605275240