Constructivism

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Constructivism

Constructivism is a “point of view according to which every reality is, in the straightest sense, the construction of those who believe to discover or investigate reality.” Here’s the definition by one of the defendants of this perspective, the Austrian thinker Paul Watzlawic (Austria, 1921-California, 2007). In case it wasn’t clear enough, he states: “the supposedly found reality is an invented reality and its inventor has no awareness of the act of its invention, but believes that reality is independent from him and it can be discovered.” Constructivist thinkers quote as their most direct antecedents Giambattista Vico, Kant, Dilthe, Husserl, Wittgenstein and the Viena Circle, apart from Jean Piaget. For Watzlawic, what we can know about reality is just “what it is not.” Constructivism is also linked to pragmatic theses. “Our knowledge is useful, relevant, able to survive, if it resists the world of experience and enables us to make certain predictions or to make certain phenomena happen or to keep them from happening. If it doesn’t bring us that service, knowledge becomes questionable, unworthy of trust and in the last instance demoted to mere superstition”, says the philosopher a d cybernetic Ernst von Glasersfeld (Munich, 1917-Massachusetts, 2010). And he concludes, quoting Piaget: “Intelligence organizes the world by organizing itself.” Other authors which adhere to this current are Heinz von Foerster (Austria, 1911 – California, 2002) and Francisco Varela (Chile, 1946-París, 2001).

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