Year:

  1. H. F. Alrøe & E. Noe (2014). Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):65-76.
    Context: The problems that are most in need of interdisciplinary collaboration are “wicked problems,” such as food crises, climate change mitigation, and sustainable development, with many relevant aspects, disagreement on what the problem is, and contradicting solutions. Such complex problems both require and challenge interdisciplinarity. Problem: The conventional methods of interdisciplinary research fall short in the case of wicked problems because they remain first-order science. Our aim is to present workable methods and research designs for doing second-order science in domains (...)
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  2. H. F. Alrøe & E. Noe (2014). Authors’ Response: A Perspectivist View on the Perspectivist View of Interdisciplinary Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):88-95.
    Upshot: In our response we focus on five questions that point to important common themes in the commentaries: why start in wicked problems, what kind of system is a scientific perspective, what is the nature of second-order research processes, what does this mean for understanding interdisciplinary work, and how may polyocular research help make real-world decisions.
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  3. P. Aufenvenne, H. Egner & K. Elverfeldt (2014). On Climate Change Research, the Crisis of Science and Second-Order Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):120-129.
    Context: This conceptual paper tries to tackle the advantages and the limitations that might arise from including second-order science into global climate change sciences, a research area that traditionally focuses on first-order approaches and that is currently attracting a lot of media and public attention. Problem: The high profile of climate change research seems to provoke a certain dilemma for scientists: despite the slowly increasing realization within the sciences that our knowledge is temporary, tentative, uncertain, and far from stable, the (...)
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  4. P. Aufenvenne, H. Egner & K. Elverfeldt (2014). Authors’ Response: Communicating Second-Order Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):135-139.
    Upshot: For communicating second-order science, von Foerster’s ethical imperative provides a viable starting point. Proceeding from this, we plead in favour of emphasising the common grounds of diverging scientific opinions and of various approaches in second-order science instead of focussing on the differences. This will provide a basis for communication and stimulate scientific self-reflection.
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  5. E. Balsemão Pires (2014). Systemic-Internal and Theoretical Views on Second-Order Observations. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):56-58.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Circular Conditions of Second-order Science Sporadically Illustrated with Agent-based Experiments at the Roots of Observation” by Manfred Füllsack. Upshot: I address Füllsack’s main conclusions in his article regarding the meaning of second-order observations. Especially envisaged are the epistemological and ontological difficulties raised by his scrutiny of the merging between systemic-internal conditions of second-order reflexivity and the thematic-theoretical accounts of selection, intentionality and purposiveness in evolutionary systems.
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  6. M. C. Bateson (2014). Observer Effects in Research. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):31-32.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: The evaluation of what we knew is an urgent and evolving issue. The issues discussed by Umpleby have been raised earlier, particularly in the social sciences. Arguably, in some quarters they are exaggerated. But an awareness of observer effects is of great importance and is greatly enhanced by second-order cybernetics applied more widely as second-order science.
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  7. E. Buchinger (2014). Second-Order Observation in Social Science: Autopoietic Foundations. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):32-33.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: Second-order science requires a specific methodology. It thereby reverses the classical observer-observed relation in favor of the observed - i.e., the first-order observers - if the principle of autopoiesis is acknowledged.
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  8. W. Callebaut (2014). Beyond a “Levels View” of Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):79-80.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems” by Hugo F. Alrøe & Egon Noe. Upshot: I critically assess Alrøe and Noe’s plea for a “second-order science of interdisciplinary research” from the perspective of a consistently naturalized philosophy of science, arguing that the latter precludes the “levels view” of science implied by the former. I also suggest we avoid the term “polyocularity” as it perpetuates the persistent bias toward vision in our (...)
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  9. A. Ciaunica (2014). Putting Phenomenology to Work “Seriously”- Deep Brain Stimulation and Mental Disorders. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):105-106.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Uroboros of Consciousness: Between the Naturalisation of Phenomenology and the Phenomenologisation of Nature” by Sebastjan Vörös. Upshot: I present a concrete example of how phenomenology might “seriously” contribute to our understanding of certain aspects of the human mind, by drawing on recent research in psychopathology.
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  10. S. Engesser (2014). Beyond Criticizing Objectivism: Three Pragmatic Considerations. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):154-155.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Do the Media Fail to Represent Reality? A Constructivist and Second-order Critique of the Research on Environmental Media Coverage and Its Normative Implications” by Julia Völker & Armin Scholl. Upshot: Criticizing climate communication research for its sometimes objectivist approach appears highly justified. However, three pragmatic questions should be considered. First, is it truly illegitimate to confront a social system with external normative expectations? Second, are all human inferences equally subjective? Third, how can a constructive (...)
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  11. S. Fuller (2014). Ascending to the Second-Order: An Alternative Systems Take on Wicked Problems. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):81-83.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems” by Hugo F. Alrøe & Egon Noe. Upshot: Contrary to Alrøe and Noe, problems are wicked not because they escape the technical expertise of the special sciences but because they reawaken the sciences’ totalizing impulse, which then leads to conflicting cross-disciplinary claims, on the basis of which the state must intervene. This situation is understandable against the backdrop of an “open systems” perspective, in (...)
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  12. M. Füllsack (2014). The Circular Conditions of Second-Order Science Sporadically Illustrated with Agent-Based Experiments at the Roots of Observation. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):46-54.
    Problem: The inclusion of the observer into scientific observation entails a vicious circle of having to observe the observer as dependent on observation. Second-order science has to clarify how its underlying circularity can be scientifically conceived. Method: Essayistic and conceptual analysis, sporadically illustrated with agent-based experiments. Results: Second-order science - implying science in general - is fundamentally and ineluctably circular. Implications - The circularity of second-order science asks for analytical methods able to cope with phenomena of complex causation and “synchronous (...)
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  13. M. Füllsack (2014). Author’s Response: Verbal Limitations of Observer-Inclusion. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):62-64.
    Upshot: I present reflections on the particularities of second-order science in response to the commentaries on my paper, as well as comments on the limitations of verbal analytical attempts to grasp the implicit circularity of observer-inclusion.
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  14. P. Gaitsch (2014). The Small Change of Non-Idealistic Correlationism. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):106-108.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Uroboros of Consciousness: Between the Naturalisation of Phenomenology and the Phenomenologisation of Nature” by Sebastjan Vörös. Upshot: In my commentary, I focus on the main claim that naturalizing transcendental phenomenology should lead to a phenomenologisation of nature. I suggest that this could be spelled out in a non-idealistic correlationism of mind and nature and, more specifically, in a phenomenological investigation into living beings based on the analysis of the embodied mind/lived body.
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  15. F. Grote (2014). Entropy as a Resource for Double Contingency. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):58-60.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Circular Conditions of Second-order Science Sporadically Illustrated with Agent-based Experiments at the Roots of Observation” by Manfred Füllsack. Upshot: Observers construct an internal, local state of order for the perspective of their observations, but in doing so they increase the overall entropy of the system they belong to, e.g., society, by adding more options for potential courses of action. Thus, the Second Law of Thermodynamics is not just satisfied in the circular condition of (...)
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  16. M. R. Herbers (2014). Do the Media Fail to Represent Reality? It Depends. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):155-156.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Do the Media Fail to Represent Reality? A Constructivist and Second-order Critique of the Research on Environmental Media Coverage and Its Normative Implications” by Julia Völker & Armin Scholl. Upshot: The commentary aims to amend Völker and Scholl’s argumentation. Some points should be reconsidered, such as the object of communication research, types of media that are scrutinized and a broader theoretical background.
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  17. M. H. G. Hoffmann (2014). What is “Science”? For What Do We Need a “Polyocular Framework”? Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):83-84.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems” by Hugo F. Alrøe & Egon Noe. Upshot: Alrøe and Noe are right in addressing Rittel and Webber’s notion of “wicked problems” as crucial for interdisciplinary research. However, I can see neither that they are providing a sufficiently clear understanding of “science” in their concept of a “second-order science of interdisciplinary research,” nor that their “polyocular framework” can contribute anything useful to addressing the (...)
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  18. B. R. Hornung (2014). Second-Order Science, Unity of Science and Methods of Research. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):30-31.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: Umpleby’s target article is important for bridging the gap between the natural and social sciences. While I agree with his claims, his proposals may not reach far enough. Concrete methods of empirical research, which are of crucial importance for a breakthrough, deserve further elaboration.
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  19. J. J. Hu (2014). New Challenges to New Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):26-28.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: The humanities are gaining a new self-awareness of the role of observers who develop theories, and of the interplays between the theories and the system being studied. This article follows up the target paper with extended challenging questions, inviting more discussion.
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  20. R. Ison (2014). Doing Second-Order R&D. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):130-131.
    Open peer commentary on the article “On Climate Change Research, the Crisis of Science and Second-order Science” by Philipp Aufenvenne, Heike Egner & Kirsten von Elverfeldt. Upshot: Bringing second-order understandings to the doing of climate science is to be welcomed. In taking a second-order turn, it is imperative to reflect on reflection, or report authentically our doings and thus move beyond sterile debates about what ought to be or what second-order doings are or are not. The field of doing second-order (...)
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  21. L. H. Kauffman (2014). Circularity and Distinction. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):55-56.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Circular Conditions of Second-order Science Sporadically Illustrated with Agent-based Experiments at the Roots of Observation” by Manfred Füllsack. Upshot: The aim of my commentary is to reflect on fundamental issues related to circularity, distinction and the properties of observers.
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  22. R. D. King (2014). What Kind of Autopoietic System, If Any, Can a Perspective Actually Be? Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):85-87.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems” by Hugo F. Alrøe & Egon Noe. Upshot: The authors propose that a perspective is an autopoietic system. This commentary challenges the feasibility of this claim by pointing out the conceptual difficulties associated with such a proposal. But even granting that a perspective is, or can be, an autopoietic system, what sort of autopoietic system might best ground the authors’ concept of perspective? This (...)
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  23. W. Krauß (2014). First Aid for Climate Research with Second-Order Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):132-133.
    Open peer commentary on the article “On Climate Change Research, the Crisis of Science and Second-order Science” by Philipp Aufenvenne, Heike Egner & Kirsten von Elverfeldt. Upshot: On an epistemological level, Aufenvenne, Egner and von Elverfeldt argue convincingly for an increasing role for second-order science in climate research. However, the authors partially underestimate the already increasing role of reflexive critique in climate discourse, and they do not yet fully take into account the radical changes in our conception of climate change (...)
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  24. M. R. Lissack (2014). Second-Order Science is Enacted Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):35-37.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: Umpleby’s approach to second-order science is top-down, and as such, fails to distinguish the cognitive mechanisms that provide the direct enacted link between such science and constructivism. When the idea of “ceteris paribus” holds little meaning to the examined situation, we are in the realm of second-order science, or Science 2. Only Science 2 can deal with emergence, volition, and reflexive anticipation. These three properties (...)
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  25. M. Maurer (2014). Why We Need a Pragmatic View on Reality and the Media. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):152-153.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Do the Media Fail to Represent Reality? A Constructivist and Second-order Critique of the Research on Environmental Media Coverage and Its Normative Implications” by Julia Völker & Armin Scholl. Upshot: In their paper, Völker and Scholl use one of my studies as an example of an objectivist research strategy, which they criticize. In this reply, I am trying to introduce a pragmatic perspective on the comparison of real-world indicators and media content. Moreover, I explain (...)
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  26. K. H. Müller & A. Riegler (2014). A New Course of Action. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):1-6.
    Context: The journal Constructivist Foundations celebrates ten years of publishing articles on constructivist approaches, in particular radical constructivism. Problem: In order to preserve the sustainability of radical constructivism and regain its appeal to new generations of researchers, we set up a new course of action for and with the radical constructivist community to study its innovative potential. This new avenue is “second-order science.” Method: We specify two motivations of second-order science, i.e., the inclusion of the observer, and self-reflexivity that allows (...)
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  27. K. H. Müller & A. Riegler (2014). Second-Order Science: A Vast and Largely Unexplored Science Frontier. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):7-15.
    Context: Many recent research areas such as human cognition and quantum physics call the observer-independence of traditional science into question. Also, there is a growing need for self-reflexivity in science, i.e., a science that reflects on its own outcomes and products. Problem: We introduce the concept of second-order science that is based on the operation of re-entry. Our goal is to provide an overview of this largely unexplored science domain and of potential approaches in second-order fields. Method: We provide the (...)
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  28. M. A. Notturno (2014). Do We Need a Second-Order Science? Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):23-26.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: This article argues that we do not need a new scientific method or a “second-order science” to deal with the facts that the individual characteristics of observers may affect the nature and quality of their observations and that the application of scientific theories may affect the systems they describe. It also argues that Umpleby has not given us good reason to think that we do.
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  29. R. Palmaru (2014). Communication and Media Studies in Crisis. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):150-152.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Do the Media Fail to Represent Reality? A Constructivist and Second-order Critique of the Research on Environmental Media Coverage and Its Normative Implications” by Julia Völker & Armin Scholl. Upshot: The present commentary is not intended as a criticism of the arguments presented in Julia Völker and Armin Scholl’s target article. I very much agree with these arguments. I only wish to draw attention to the fact that Völker and Scholl are not writing about (...)
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  30. D. Rousseau (2014). The Promise and Prospects of Second-Order Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):37-38.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: I support Umpleby’s advocacy for second-order science. I argue that the prospects are more optimistic than a superficial reading of Umpleby would suggest. I also argue that Umpleby’s proposals imply that radical constructivism and critical realism will evolve towards consilience.
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  31. J. Stewart (2014). Science Is Not Value-Free. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):28-29.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: The author claims that second-order science leads to “an awareness of our impact on our social and biological environment.” If this is true, it is sheer irresponsibility not to address the possibility that human activity is leading the biosphere to a point of catastrophic collapse. More generally, I hold that science should openly address explicitly value-laden issues.
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  32. S. A. J. Stuart (2014). The Enkinaesthetic Betwixt. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):109-111.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Uroboros of Consciousness: Between the Naturalisation of Phenomenology and the Phenomenologisation of Nature” by Sebastjan Vörös. Upshot: Vörös proposes that we phenomenologise nature and, whilst I agree with the spirit and direction of his proposal, the 4EA framework, on which he bases his project, is too conservative and is, therefore, unsatisfactory. I present an alternative framework, an enkinaesthetic field, and suggest further ways in which we might explore a non-dichotomised “betwixt” and begin to (...)
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  33. R. Szostak (2014). Seeking Common Ground on the Nature of Interdisciplinarity. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):77-78.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science of Interdisciplinary Research: A Polyocular Framework for Wicked Problems” by Hugo F. Alrøe & Egon Noe. Upshot: I draw connections between the target article and the broader literature on interdisciplinarity, highlighting areas of both agreement and disagreement. Suggestions are made regarding how interdisciplinary research should proceed.
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  34. S. A. Umpleby (2014). Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):16-23.
    Context: Philosophy of science is the branch of philosophy that deals with methods, foundations, and implications of science. It is a theory of how to create scientific knowledge. Presently, there is widespread agreement on how to do science, namely conjectures, ideally in the form of a mathematical model, and refutations, testing the model using empirical evidence. Problem: Many social scientists are using a conception of science created for the physical sciences. Expanding philosophy of science so that it more successfully encompasses (...)
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  35. S. A. Umpleby (2014). Author’s Response: Identifying a Philosophy and Methods for Second-Order Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):39-45.
    Upshot: The work that scientists do, particularly social scientists, is currently constrained by their conception of science. Expanding the conception of science would lead to more innovative work and more rapid social progress.
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  36. S. A. Umpleby (2014). The Social and Political Context of Science. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):133-135.
    Open peer commentary on the article “On Climate Change Research, the Crisis of Science and Second-order Science” by Philipp Aufenvenne, Heike Egner & Kirsten von Elverfeldt. Upshot: Second-order science primarily focuses on perception and cognition. However, social contexts, including political interpretations of science, are also included because they are part of the interpretations of the observer. To understand a scientific theory, it is helpful to understand neurophysiology, the history of the individual and the social and political context in which the (...)
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  37. C. Valenzuela-Moguillansky (2014). Cognitive Science and Phenomenology: A Step Towards the Epistemic Ensō. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):108-109.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Uroboros of Consciousness: Between the Naturalisation of Phenomenology and the Phenomenologisation of Nature” by Sebastjan Vörös. Upshot: This commentary highlights the contribution of “The Uroboros of Consciousness” to the integration of phenomenology with cognitive sciences by replacing the question of how we want to make such integration. In a very pertinent manner, this article looks at the other side of a coin that until now has been turned to the requirements and criteria of (...)
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  38. J. P. Van Bendegem (2014). Do We Also Need Second-Order Mathematics? Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):34-35.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods” by Stuart A. Umpleby. Upshot: The author makes a strong plea for second-order science but somehow mathematics remains out of focus. The major claim of this commentary is that second-order science requires second-order mathematics.
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  39. J. Völker & A. Scholl (2014). Do the Media Fail to Represent Reality? A Constructivist and Second-Order Critique of the Research on Environmental Media Coverage and Its Normative Implications. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):140-149.
    Problem: First-order scientific research is often not aware of the hidden assumptions provided by an epistemological perspective based upon realism. Beyond philosophical considerations about the epistemological foundations, some practical normative implications deriving from them are crucial: in the field of communication and media studies, some scholars criticize media coverage, e.g., on climate change, as biased and distorted from reality. Method: From a constructivist perspective, the article presents a detailed meta-analysis of the course of argumentation provided by two empirical communication studies (...)
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  40. J. Völker & A. Scholl (2014). Authors’ Response: Pragmatism and Epistemology. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):157-162.
    Upshot: The controversy between realism and constructivism often seems to be a matter of epistemology. However, empirical researchers are not primarily interested in solving philosophical questions but in practicing good research. It would be shortsighted to believe that there is a contradiction between epistemological and empirical questions.
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  41. H. von Storch (2014). On Detection and Attribution. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):131-132.
    Open peer commentary on the article “On Climate Change Research, the Crisis of Science and Second-order Science” by Philipp Aufenvenne, Heike Egner & Kirsten von Elverfeldt. Upshot: I discuss the concepts of detection and attribution as they are used in scientific discussions about the cause of global warming.
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  42. S. Vörös (2014). The Uroboros of Consciousness: Between the Naturalisation of Phenomenology and the Phenomenologisation of Nature. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):96-104.
    Context: The burgeoning field of consciousness studies has recently witnessed a revival of first-person approaches based on phenomenology in general and Husserlian phenomenology in particular. However, the attempts to introduce phenomenological methods into cognitive science have raised serious doubts as to the feasibility of such projects. Much of the current debate has revolved around the issue of the naturalisation of phenomenology, i.e., of the possibility of integrating phenomenology into the naturalistic paradigm. Significantly less attention has been devoted to the complementary (...)
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  43. S. Vörös (2014). Author’s Response: Of Roses, Serpents, and Circles: Fleshing Out the Bones of Contention. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):112-119.
    Upshot: Following a brief reflection on some terminological issues, I discuss the question of the rationality of non-dualism, the two aspects of the conceptual dimension of phenomenologisation, and the potential of meditative/contemplative practices in cultivating its experiential/existential dimension. Also, I emphasise that the two-pronged project of phenomenologisation is closely associated with the establishment of second-order science, and purport to show why it might be an important addition to, and elaboration of, the overarching attempt to think and live the fundamental circularity (...)
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  44. R. E. Zimmermann (2014). On the Clarification of System Levels. Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):60-62.
    Open peer commentary on the article “The Circular Conditions of Second-order Science Sporadically Illustrated with Agent-based Experiments at the Roots of Observation” by Manfred Füllsack. Upshot: I follow the general tenor of Füllsack’s target article but I have some basic reservations as to the utilization of the thermodynamics involved.
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  45. J. Bowers, J. Gruver & V. Trang (2014). Radical Constructivism: A Theory of Individual and Collective Change? Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):310-312.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructing Constructivism” by Hugh Gash. Upshot: Gash’s retrospective analysis suggests a number of different roles for RC over the past thirty years. We outline three of these roles and then conduct a thought experiment to argue that while RC itself could be seen as a living theory that accommodates new ideas, its strongest contributions remain when it stays true to its roots and serves as a milestone along the path of educational paradigm shifts.
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  46. C. W. Castillo-Garsow (2014). Mathematical Modeling and the Nature of Problem Solving. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):373-375.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: Problem solving is an enormous field of study, where so-called “problems” can end up having very little in common. One of the least studied categories of problems is open-ended mathematical modeling research. Cifarelli and Sevim’s framework - although not developed for this purpose - may be a useful lens for (...)
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  47. V. V. Cifarelli (2014). Perspectives on Teaching Architectural Design Based on a Radical Constructivist Model of Knowing. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):403-404.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Radical Constructivist Structural Design Education for Large Cohorts of Chinese Learners” by Christiane M. Herr. Upshot: Herr’s target article outlines a teaching approach that illustrates and explains how radical constructivism can be used to teach architectural design principles to a large cohort of students. Herr’s approach consists of a hybrid set of instructional activities whose implementation was supported by her establishment of a social climate in the classroom that encouraged the contributions of individuals in (...)
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  48. V. V. Cifarelli & V. Sevim (2014). Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld's Conceptual Analysis. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):360-369.
    Context: The paper utilizes a conceptual analysis to examine the development of abstract conceptual structures in mathematical problem solving. In so doing, we address two questions: 1. How have the ideas of RC influenced our own educational theory? and 2. How has our application of the ideas of RC helped to improve our understanding of the connection between teaching practice and students’ learning processes? Problem: The paper documents how Ernst von Glasersfeld’s view of mental representation can be illustrated in the (...)
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  49. T. Dooley (2014). Second-Order Models of Students' Mathematics: Delving Into Possibilities. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):346-348.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education” by Catherine Ulrich, Erik S. Tillema, Amy J. Hackenberg & Anderson Norton. Upshot: I look at the different possibilities offered by the trajectory of second-order models in mathematics education. It seems to me that although possibilities are extended as models become more elaborate, this is only the case if teacher/researchers remain cognisant of a radical constructivist perspective. I also suggest that broad-ranging research on the models affords (...)
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  50. D. I. Dykstra Jr (2014). Radical Constructivism and Social Justice: Educational Implications. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):318-321.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructing Constructivism” by Hugh Gash. Upshot: Gash describes some very interesting and exemplary work using RC-influenced research and practices. I worry that his third stage of a three-stage emergence of constructivist epistemology in the study of cognitive development is consistent with a distinction between focus on individual cognitive development and focus on knowledge not in the mind but in the group, inconsistent with RC. An alternative is given and the issue of an RC perspective (...)
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  51. A. Engström (2014). RC is a Theory of Learning, Not Teaching. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):314-316.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructing Constructivism” by Hugh Gash. Upshot: The concept of “constructivist teaching” seems unattainable for two reasons: a philosophical and an empirical one. Also, Hugh Gash’s survey is not so much about radical constructivism in education, but a review of different connected ideas labeled “constructivism” that have dominated the educational field.
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  52. K. François (2014). Convergences Between Radical Constructivism and Critical Learning Theory. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):377-379.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: The value of Cifarelli & Sevim’s target article lies in the analysis of how reflective abstraction contributes to the description of mathematical learning through problem solving. The additional value of the article lies in its emphasis of some aspects of the learning process that goes beyond radical constructivist learning theory. (...)
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  53. H. Gash (2014). Constructing Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):302-310.
    Context: The paper is a selective survey of radical constructivist (RC) research that relates to education. Problem: Over the past 40 years there have been developments in the research reviewed. Earlier work was often concerned with conceptual clarification and showing different ways children and teachers think, whereas recent work is more systemic and applied. Method: Research with educational implications done by the author and colleagues is surveyed. This survey shows how RC influenced research in a variety of psychological domains including (...)
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  54. H. Gash (2014). Author's Response: Perspectives on RC and Teaching. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):321-327.
    Upshot: In response to the issues raised in the OPCs, I emphasize the following aspects: teaching cannot be transmitting knowledge, stages are too constraining a model, RC focuses on the individual construction and talking about social context invites the spectre of social constructivism.
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  55. H. Gash (2014). The Need for Varieties of Perspectives. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):437-438.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning How to Innovate as a Socio-epistemological Process of Co-creation: Towards a Constructivist Teaching Strategy for Innovation” by Markus F. Peschl, Gloria Bottaro, Martina Hartner-Tiefenthaler & Katharina Rötzer. Upshot: The target article describes a programme of study in enterprise education based on radical constructivism (RC. There are a number of issues that arise: the RC approach emphasises student learning rather than preparation for teaching, this type of course can have an impact on the other (...)
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  56. G. A. Goldin (2014). A Fine Conceptual Analysis Needs No “Ism”. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):376-377.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: The key philosophical premise of von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism is not necessary to the insightful conceptual analysis presented by Cifarelli and Sevim, which could benefit from abandoning it.
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  57. T. Goodson-Espy (2014). Reflective Abstraction as an Individual and Collective Learning Mechanism. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):381-383.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: Cifarelli and Sevim discuss the development of individual students’ abstract conceptual structures while problem solving, using constructs for analysis that are consistent with von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism: re-presentation and reflective abstraction. This commentary discusses the on-going contributions of reflective abstraction to individual and collective learning.
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  58. L. L. Hatfield (2014). Radical Constructivism in the Classroom: Tensions and Balances. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):433-435.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning How to Innovate as a Socio-epistemological Process of Co-creation: Towards a Constructivist Teaching Strategy for Innovation” by Markus F. Peschl, Gloria Bottaro, Martina Hartner-Tiefenthaler & Katharina Rötzer. Upshot: The aims of this commentary are to pose a few reactions to the design framework, enactment, and data and analyses of the reported investigation, and to offer additional overall perspectives on radical constructivism as a potential framework for classroom teaching (and specifically the teaching of school (...)
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  59. C. M. Herr (2014). Radical Constructivist Structural Design Education for Large Cohorts of Chinese Learners. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):393-402.
    Context: Structural design education in architecture is typically conceived as a scientific subject taught in a lecture format and based on a transactional view of learning. This approach misses opportunities to contribute to and integrate with design-studio-based architectural education. Problem: How can radical constructivism inform a design-based pedagogy of structural design in the context of large cohorts of Chinese learners? Method: The paper outlines how radical constructivist and second order cybernetic perspectives are reflected in an alternative educational approach to structural (...)
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  60. C. M. Herr (2014). Author's Response: The Productive Challenge of Large Cohorts in Radical Constructivist Education. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):415-420.
    Upshot: Responding to and further developing the points raised by the open peer commentaries, I discuss a range of themes, including possible roles of lecture-based teaching in a radical constructivist approach to education, approaches to the teaching of large cohorts in a radical constructivist manner, the role of assessment in students’ learning experiences, the distinction of “models of” student learning, contrasted with “models for” student learning, the distinction of literal conversation from an atmosphere conducive to conversation, and the use of (...)
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  61. T. Hug (2014). Reflecting on Constructing Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):316-317.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructing Constructivism” by Hugh Gash. Upshot: Hugh Gash’s paper on constructing constructivism is inspiring, insightful, and important in many respects. However, and for that reason, I want to reflect on some critical aspects in terms of metaphorical uses of expressions and ongoing processes of medialization and digitization. Lastly, I am going to point out critical potentials of constructivist thinking as related to education.
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  62. H. L. Johnson (2014). A Role of Context in Constructivist Model Building: What Problem is the Learner Solving? Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):339-341.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education” by Catherine Ulrich, Erik S. Tillema, Amy J. Hackenberg & Anderson Norton. Upshot: I concur with Ulrich et al. that second-order models can be powerful tools for investigating students’ mathematical learning. I argue for a role that a dynamic, learner-centered perspective on context could play in constructivist model building.
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  63. S. E. Kastberg (2014). The Power of What We Know: Further Directions for Exploring Constructivist Model Building. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):352-354.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education” by Catherine Ulrich, Erik S. Tillema, Amy J. Hackenberg & Anderson Norton. Upshot: The suggestion that model building can be used by teachers to enable productive interactions with students is taken up. Challenges and possibilities in exploring constructivist model building by examining mathematics teacher educators’ interactions with teachers are investigated.
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  64. F. Kragulj (2014). Interacting with the Envisioned Future as a Constructivist Approach to Learning. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):439-440.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning How to Innovate as a Socio-epistemological Process of Co-creation: Towards a Constructivist Teaching Strategy for Innovation” by Markus F. Peschl, Gloria Bottaro, Martina Hartner-Tiefenthaler & Katharina Rötzer. Upshot: I introduce and discuss an advancement of the idea of “learning from the future,” called “interacting with the envisioned future.” Further, this approach is put into the context of the target article and the perspective of radical constructivism.
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  65. B. R. Lawler (2014). Forging a Constructivist Pedagogy: Focus on Teacher Decision-Making. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):412-415.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Radical Constructivist Structural Design Education for Large Cohorts of Chinese Learners” by Christiane M. Herr. Upshot: In this comment, I take Herr’s proposition for a constructivist-informed pedagogy for structural design education to extract initial ideas for a framework for a constructivist pedagogy, a framework focused on the decision-making of a constructivist teacher. I enhance this initial framework with initial findings of a study I conducted with a constructivist mathematics teacher.
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  66. D. R. Liss Ii (2014). Examining the Roles of Feedback and Models of Student Thinking in Pursuing Instructional Goals Inspired by Radical Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):407-409.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Radical Constructivist Structural Design Education for Large Cohorts of Chinese Learners” by Christiane M. Herr. Upshot: Herr’s thought-provoking approach to structural design education targets goals that include fostering the development of students’ intrinsic motivation and shifting the instructor’s role from one of dispensing knowledge to one of guiding students’ conceptual organization of their experiences. This commentary is intended to start a dialogue regarding the affordances and constraints of particular approaches to achieving these goals. In (...)
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  67. T. McCloughlin (2014). Radical Constructivism in Learning: Breaking the Tyranny of Information Accumulation. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):312-314.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructing Constructivism” by Hugh Gash. Upshot: Radical constructivism is explicitly discussed in Gash’s target article outlining “stages” or types of constructivism. The stages contextualize radical constructivism in a series of research phases involving a number of domains using a variety of approaches. The target article begs the query: “just how radical are many constructivist approaches in teaching and learning?”.
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  68. K. C. Moore (2014). Re-Presentations and Conceptual Structures of What? Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):371-373.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: Education researchers often explain student activity in terms of general thinking and learning processes, including those identified by Cifarelli and Sevim. In this commentary, I refocus Cifarelli and Sevim’s discussion in order to hypothesize the organization of mental actions that comprise and support those learning processes.
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  69. N. Perrin (2014). The Device Design Studio: Proscribe in Order to Promote New Knowledge. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):409-411.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Radical Constructivist Structural Design Education for Large Cohorts of Chinese Learners” by Christiane M. Herr. Upshot: The concept of proscription enables certain characteristics of the design studio to be highlighted and some of the difficulties mentioned by Herr to be understood, and it raises the question: What does “open-ended” mean in a formal learning context?
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  70. M. F. Peschl, G. Bottaro, M. Hartner-Tiefenthaler & K. Rötzer (2014). Learning How to Innovate as a Socio-Epistemological Process of Co-Creation: Towards a Constructivist Teaching Strategy for Innovation. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):421-433.
    Context: Radical constructivism (RC) is seen as a fruitful way to teach innovation, as Ernst von Glasersfeld’s concepts of knowing, learning, and teaching provide an epistemological framework fostering processes of generating an autonomous conceptual understanding. Problem: Classical educational approaches do not meet the requirements for teaching and learning innovation because they mostly aim at students’ competent performance, not at students’ understanding and developing their creative capabilities. Method: Analysis of theoretical principles from the constructivist framework and how they can be used (...)
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  71. M. F. Peschl, G. Bottaro, M. Hartner-Tiefenthaler & K. Rötzer (2014). Authors' Response: Challenges in Studying and Teaching Innovation: Between Theory and Practice. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):440-446.
    Upshot: This response focuses on the following issues, which summarize the points made by the commentaries: (i) further reflection on and details of the methodological framework that was applied to studying the proposed design of our innovation course, (ii) the issue of generalizability of the findings for teaching innovation (in this context the question of generic or transferable skills will become central), and (iii) finally, more precise explanation of what we mean by “learning from the future as it emerges.”.
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  72. J. Proulx (2014). From Model Building to the Observer. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):341-344.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education” by Catherine Ulrich, Erik S. Tillema, Amy J. Hackenberg & Anderson Norton. Upshot: The target article by Ulrich et al. is a good example of constructivist research in mathematics education, and illustrates how constructivism can ground a research endeavour toward modelling students’ mathematical understandings. I propose to delve into these issues of model building and reflect on Maturana’s notion of the observer. I do this through discussing (...)
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  73. J. Richards (2014). Going Beyond Novelty: Innovation as a Market Process. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):438-439.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning How to Innovate as a Socio-epistemological Process of Co-creation: Towards a Constructivist Teaching Strategy for Innovation” by Markus F. Peschl, Gloria Bottaro, Martina Hartner-Tiefenthaler & Katharina Rötzer. Upshot: Peschl et al. argue that innovation, or the creation of sustainable change in the market, is a natural topic to be understood from a radical constructivist perspective and is similar in structure to von Glasersfeld’s theory of learning. I argue that this is an accurate and (...)
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  74. A. Riegler & L. P. Steffe (2014). “What Is the Teacher Trying to Teach Students If They Are All Busy Constructing Their Own Private Worlds?”: Introduction to the Special Issue. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):297-301.
    Context: Ernst von Glasersfeld introduced radical constructivism in 1974 as a new interpretation of Jean Piaget’s constructivism to give new meanings to the notions of knowledge, communication, and reality. He also claimed that RC would affect traditional theories of education. Problem: After 40 years it has become necessary to review and evaluate von Glasersfeld’s claim. Also, has RC been successful in taking the “social turn” in educational research, or is it unable to go beyond “private worlds? Method: We provide an (...)
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  75. A. Sáenz-Ludlow (2014). To Learn Is to Understand and to Understand Is to Innovate: An Inter-Intra Socio-Epistemological Process. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):435-436.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Learning How to Innovate as a Socio-epistemological Process of Co-creation: Towards a Constructivist Teaching Strategy for Innovation” by Markus F. Peschl, Gloria Bottaro, Martina Hartner-Tiefenthaler & Katharina Rötzer. Upshot: This commentary emphasizes the three levels of a teaching methodology designed to scaffold conceptual autonomy and innovation on the part of graduate students with diverse areas of expertise.
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  76. P. J. Sánchez Gómez (2014). Methodological Issues of Second-Order Model Building. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):344-346.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education” by Catherine Ulrich, Erik S. Tillema, Amy J. Hackenberg & Anderson Norton. Upshot: I argue that radical constructivism poses a series of deep methodological constraints on educational research. We focus on the work of Ulrich et al. to illustrate the practical implications of these constraints.
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  77. V. Sevim (2014). Interdisciplinary Connections Between Radical Constructivist Approaches in Mathematical Problem Solving and Structural Design in Architecture. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):411-412.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Radical Constructivist Structural Design Education for Large Cohorts of Chinese Learners” by Christiane M. Herr. Upshot: In the target article, Christiane Herr offers an insightful characterization of how von Glasersfeld’s radical constructivism can be implemented in structural design education in architecture. In this commentary, I articulate possible connections between research on problem solving and problem posing in mathematics education and design processes in structural design education as described in the target article.
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  78. V. Sevim & V. V. Cifarelli (2014). Authors' Response: Radical Constructivist Conceptual Analyses in Mathematical Problem Solving and Their Implications for Teaching. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):386-392.
    Upshot: In this response to the open peer commentaries on our target article, we address two emerging themes: the need to explicate further the nature of learning processes from a radical constructivist perspective, and the need to investigate further the implications of our research for classroom teaching.
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  79. M. A. Simon (2014). Models of Students' Mathematics and Their Relationship to Mathematics Pedagogy. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):348-350.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education” by Catherine Ulrich, Erik S. Tillema, Amy J. Hackenberg & Anderson Norton. Upshot: I comment on the nature and exemplification of second-order models in Ulrich et. al. I discuss what I see as the theoretical gap between second-order models and mathematics pedagogy. Finally, I share work we are doing to contribute towards filling that theoretical gap.
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  80. B. Sweeting (2014). Not All Conversations Are Conversational: A Reflection on the Constructivist Aspects of Design Studio Education. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):405-406.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Radical Constructivist Structural Design Education for Large Cohorts of Chinese Learners” by Christiane M. Herr. Upshot: Herr’s radically constructivist approach to the technological aspects of architectural education also invites a critical review of the constructivist credentials of the conversational model of design studio teaching that she takes as a point of departure.
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  81. E. S. Tillema (2014). Reflecting on a Radical Constructivist Approach to Problem Solving. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):383-385.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: Cifarelli & Sevim outline the distinction between “representation” and “re-presentation” in von Glasersfeld’s thinking. After making this distinction, they identify how a student’s problem solving activity initially involved recognition, then re-presentation, and finally reflective abstraction. I use my commentary about the Cifarelli & Sevim article to identify two ways they (...)
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  82. E. S. Tillema, A. J. Hackenberg, C. Ulrich & A. Norton (2014). Authors' Response: Interaction: A Core Hypothesis of Radical Constructivist Epistemology. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):354-359.
    Upshot: In reading the commentaries, we were struck by the fact that all of them were in some capacity related to what we consider a core principle of radical constructivism - interaction. We characterize interaction from a radical constructivist perspective, and then discuss how the authors of the commentaries address one kind of interaction.
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  83. R. Tzur (2014). Second-Order Models: A Theoretical Bridge to Practice, A Practical Bridge to Theory. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):350-352.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education” by Catherine Ulrich, Erik S. Tillema, Amy J. Hackenberg & Anderson Norton. Upshot: I address the value of Ulrich et al.’s distinction between three types of second-order models. I conclude that their work contributes to the theorizing of adaptive teaching on the basis of a constructivist stance on knowing and learning.
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  84. C. Ulrich (2014). Issues Around Reflective Abstraction in Mathematics Education. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):370-371.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: Cifarelli and Sevim’s analysis of Marie’s problem solving activity raises two questions for me. The first regards what Marie is reflectively abstracting: the use of the generic phrase her solution activity finesses a largely unarticulated disagreement in the mathematics education community about what the nature of actions are in Piaget’s (...)
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  85. C. Ulrich, E. S. Tillema, A. J. Hackenberg & A. Norton (2014). Constructivist Model Building: Empirical Examples From Mathematics Education. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):328-339.
    Context: This paper outlines how radical constructivist theory has led to a particular methodological technique, developing second-order models of student thinking, that has helped mathematics educators to be more effective teachers of their students. Problem: The paper addresses the problem of how radical constructivist theory has been used to explain and engender more viable adaptations to the complexities of teaching and learning. Method: The paper presents empirical data from teaching experiments that illustrate the process of second-order model building. Results: The (...)
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  86. J. W. Whitenack (2014). A Case for Framing Our Research in a Radical Constructivist Tradition. Constructivist Foundations 9 (3):379-381.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Examining the Role of Re-Presentation in Mathematical Problem Solving: An Application of Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Conceptual Analysis” by Victor V. Cifarelli & Volkan Sevim. Upshot: In this commentary, I address the viability of conducting constructivist teaching experiments to develop models of students’ conceptualizations. I also discuss how this research tradition has been adapted by researchers to conduct classroom teaching experiments. In my concluding remarks, I address the need for researchers to develop models for teacher (...)
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  87. H. F. Alrøe & E. Noe (2014). Communication, Autopoiesis and Semiosis. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):183-185.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: We agree on the need to explore a concept of social autopoiesis that goes beyond a strictly human-centered concept of social systems as autopoietic communicative systems. But both Hugo Urrestarazu and Niklas Luhmann neglect the importance of semiosis in understanding communication, and this has important implications for the question of a more general approach to social systems.
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  88. G. Basti (2014). Info-Computational Constructivism and Quantum Field Theory. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):242-244.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: Dodig-Crnkovic’s “info-computational constructivism” (IC), as an essential part of a constructivist approach, needs integration with the logical, mathematical and physical evidence coming from quantum field theory (QFT) as the fundamental physics of the emergence of “complex systems” in all realms of natural sciences.
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  89. G. Becerra (2014). The Relevance of “Differentiation” and “Binary Code” for Simulating Luhmann. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):217-218.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: I acknowledge the value of Porr & Di Prodi’s piece for simulating Luhmann’s key process of subsystem formation and exploring how the concepts of “differentiation” and “binary code” relate to their model.
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  90. P. Berger (2014). Against a Reductive Materialism of the Social. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):172-174.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: Hugo Urrestarazu’s social theoretical concept is reduced to the material reality. These suggestions exclude the essential constructivist character of the social and thereby important social phenomena by definition. The systems theoretical approach by Niklas Luhmann offers an adequate alternative.
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  91. S. Brier (2014). Phenomenological Computation? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):234-235.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: The main problems with info-computationalism are: (1) Its basic concept of natural computing has neither been defined theoretically or implemented practically. (2. It cannot encompass human concepts of subjective experience and intersubjective meaningful communication, which prevents it from being genuinely transdisciplinary. (3) Philosophically, it does not sufficiently accept the deep ontological differences between various paradigms such as von Foerster’s second- order cybernetics and Maturana and Varela’s theory (...)
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  92. S. J. Cowley & V. Raimondi (2014). Social Systems: Unearthing the Big Picture. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):179-181.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: Although accepting Urrestarazu’s view of how autopoietic dynamics can be sought in the domain of the non-living, we see no reason to trace the social to autonomy. Rather, we stress that social systems happen all the time: they arise as people coordinate while also using the peculiarities of human languaging.
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  93. M. Danelzik (2014). Constructivists Should Drop the Claim of Ethical Responsibility. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):274-275.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: I agree with Quale’s argument for the ethical neutrality of constructivism. However, I want to point out that radical constructivism does not proclaim itself to be ethically neutral. Additionally, I want to criticize the somewhat ambivalent use of the term “personal responsibility” and argue that constructivists need to rethink and ultimately drop the claim of responsibility following from constructivism.
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  94. J. Désautels (2014). Can a “Generic” Subject Produce an Ethical Stance Through Its Own Cognitive Operations? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):267-268.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: I agree with some of Quale’s general conclusions, in particular that each individual knower is responsible for choosing among alternatives and the pragmatic consequences that are related to this choice. However, in adopting implicitly the premise according which individual human existence precedes coexistence or social existence, and in focusing on the cognitive operations of a “generic subject” (that is, a disembodied subject coming from nowhere and deprived (...)
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  95. G. Dodig-Crnkovic (2014). Info-Computational Constructivism and Cognition. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):223-231.
    Context: At present, we lack a common understanding of both the process of cognition in living organisms and the construction of knowledge in embodied, embedded cognizing agents in general, including future artifactual cognitive agents under development, such as cognitive robots and softbots. Purpose: This paper aims to show how the info-computational approach (IC) can reinforce constructivist ideas about the nature of cognition and knowledge and, conversely, how constructivist insights (such as that the process of cognition is the process of life) (...)
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  96. G. Dodig-Crnkovic (2014). Author's Response: Why We Need Info-Computational Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):246-255.
    Upshot: The variety of commentaries has shown that IC impacts on many disciplines, from physics to biology, to cognitive science, to ethics. Given its young age, IC still needs to fill in many gaps, some of which were pointed out by the commentators. My goal is both to illuminate some general topics of info-computationalism, and to answer specific questions in that context.
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  97. A. C. Ehresmann (2014). A Mathematical Model for Info-Computationalism. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):235-237.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: I propose a mathematical approach to the framework developed in Dodig-Crnkovic’s target article. It points to an important property of natural computation, called the multiplicity principle (MP), which allows the development of increasingly complex cognitive processes and knowledge. While local dynamics are classically computable, a consequence of the MP is that the global dynamics is not, thus raising the problem of developing more elaborate computations, perhaps with (...)
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  98. M. Füllsack (2014). IC and the Observed/Observer Duality. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):232-233.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: While I agree with Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic’s IC approach, I am uncertain about two points: first about whether constructivism needs yet another etiquette in order to be considered a viable conception, and second whether the focus on information and computation carries the risk of directing attention away from other crucial aspects of the approach.
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  99. H. Gash (2014). Modelling Realities. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):240-241.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic proposes that radical constructivism and info-computational (IC) processes have a synergy that can be productive. Two issues are proposed here: can constructivism help IC to model creative thinking, and can IC help constructivism to model conflict resolution?
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  100. H. Gash (2014). Radical Constructivism Is Neutral. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):271-273.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: Andreas Quale in his article defends radical constructivism (RC) from the accusation of being guilty of being ethically neutral. His defence is based on a distinction between clearly communicable cognitive knowledge and less easily communicable value-laden non-cognitive knowledge. The position taken in this commentary is that RC is a process and provides a way of understanding values. To condemn RC for ethical neutrality is to confuse process (...)
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  101. O. L. Georgeon (2014). Learning by Experiencing Versus Learning by Registering. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):211-213.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: Agents that learn from perturbations of closed control loops are considered constructivist by virtue of the fact that their input (the perturbation) does not convey ontological information about the environment. That is, they learn by actively experiencing their environment through interaction, as opposed to learning by registering directly input data characterizing the environment. Generalizing this idea, the notion of learning by (...)
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  102. C. Gershenson (2014). Info-Computationalism or Materialism? Neither and Both. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):241-242.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: The limitations of materialism for studying cognition have motivated alternative epistemologies based on information and computation. I argue that these alternatives are also inherently limited and that these limits can only be overcome by considering materialism, info-computationalism, and cognition at the same time.
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  103. F. Hervouet (2014). The Looping Problem. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):216-217.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: By analyzing Porr and Di Prodi’s model for addressing the double contingency problem, I try to take a step further by questioning the importance and implications of the loop concept in the constructivist approach.
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  104. A. Karafillidis (2014). Autopoiesis and Autonomy in the Space of Meaning. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):175-177.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: Social autopoiesis does not operate in physical space and cannot be understood by analyzing cause-effect relationships. Social systems are observing systems operating in the space of meaning. Therefore a validation procedure guided by the classic rules for determining autopoietic systems is misleading. However, the target article clarifies a point of great importance for sociological research: the difference between autopoiesis and autonomy (closure.
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  105. V. Kenny (2014). Continuous Dialogues IV: Viability and Learning. Ernst von Glasersfeld's Answers to a Wide Variety of Questioners on the Oikos Web Site 1997-2010. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):283-292.
    Context: Over a thirteen-year period Ernst von Glasersfeld directly answered a wide diversity of questions posed to him on the Oikos web site. Purpose: This is the fourth and final article in a series that is based on a selection from all of the questions posed in the thirteen-year period and is aimed at giving prominence to key aspects of his radical constructivist approach. Method: This article deals with the issue of “change,” divided into the two main themes of (i) (...)
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  106. A. Kravchenko (2014). Human Autopoiesis? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):177-179.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: It is argued that to define social systems as non-biological is to deny their intrinsic biological groundedness, which affects their complex system dynamics. In the case of human social systems, the ecological phenomenon of human society should not be confused with human social organizations as cultural artifacts.
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  107. D. Laflamme (2014). When Theoretical Frameworks Collide. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):167-168.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: Urrestarazu’s presentation of social autopoiesis is compromised because he fails to take into account that social systems are meaning-constituting systems. The paper briefly comments on Luhmann’s theory of autopoiesis in communication systems, but does not refer extensively to Luhmann’s work. The possibility to establish bridges is thus impaired.
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  108. M. Larochelle (2014). Cognition Made Neat and Tidy. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):269-271.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: This comment deals primarily with Quale’s attempt to distinguish between cognitive knowledge and non-cognitive knowledge. Considering that he uses this distinction as a basis for discussing ethical issues, I thought it important to assess the validity of this position and its potential usefulness for radical constructivism. In the following section, I sketch out my understanding of von Glasersfeld’s conception of cognition; so doing, I set the stage (...)
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  109. P. Lewin (2014). Ethics: A Sociological View. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):265-266.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: While Quale’s radical constructivist intervention into ethics is novel and insightful, I advance four counterpoints that underscore the social as opposed to personal nature of ethics. I argue that (1) the social nature of being always integrates individual knowers into a moral order; (2) that cognitive and non-cognitive knowledge are mutually reinforcing rather than mutually exclusive; (3) that non-cognitive knowledge can be communicated just as cognitive knowledge (...)
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  110. L. Leydesdorff (2014). Can Inter-Human Communications Be Modeled as “Autopoietic”? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):168-170.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: The dynamics of expectations in inter-human communications can be modelled as “autopoiesis.” Consciousness and communications couple not only structurally (Maturana), but also penetrate each other reflexively (Luhmann. Reflexivity opens and enriches the model of autopoiesis for further exploration.
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  111. J. Lochhead (2014). Some Questions About Responsibility. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):275-276.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: Radical constructivism views ethics as an individual responsibility. What are the limits of that responsibility? I pose some questions but do not accept the responsibility to answer them. Radical constructivism may be neutral but it need not be indifferent. An ethically neutral constructivism need not construct an ethically neutral constructivist.
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  112. H. R. Maturana (2014). Understanding Social Systems? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):187-188.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: In my commentary I reflect on conceptual and epistemological questions. In particular, I challenge the idea of trying to define social systems. I also wonder whether in many cases autopoiesis is carelessly used as a mere synonym for self-organization.
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  113. R. Palmaru (2014). How Can a Social System Be Autopoietic? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):170-172.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: I argue that it is possible to conceptualise the social system as autopoietic if we derive the social from the most important feature of a living being on which his relationship to the environment is based - from consciousness. This approach also allows us to solve Husserl’s problem of intersubjectivity.
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  114. P. M. Pilarski (2014). Aligning Homeostatic and Heterostatic Perspectives. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):213-215.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency” by Bernd Porr & Paolo Di Prodi. Upshot: There is merit to the continuous-signal-space homeostatic viewpoint on subsystem formation presented by Bernd Porr and Paolo Di Prodi; many of their ideas also align well with a heterostatic constructivist perspective, and specifically developments in the field of reinforcement learning. This commentary therefore aims to identify and clarify some of the linkages made by the authors, and highlight ways in which (...)
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  115. B. Porr & P. Di Prodi (2014). Subsystem Formation Driven by Double Contingency. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):199-211.
    Purpose: This article investigates the emergence of subsystems in societies as a solution to the double contingency problem. Context: There are two underlying paradigms: one is radical constructivism in the sense that perturbations are at the centre of the self-organising processes; the other is Luhmann’s double contingency problem, where agents learn anticipations from each other. Approach: Central to our investigation is a computer simulation where we place agents into an arena. These agents can learn to (a) collect food and/or (b) (...)
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  116. B. Porr & P. Di Prodi (2014). Authors' Response: What to Do Next: Applying Flexible Learning Algorithms to Develop Constructivist Communication. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):218-222.
    Upshot: We acknowledge that our model can be implemented with different reinforcement learning algorithms. Subsystem formation has been successfully demonstrated on the basal level, and in order to show full subsystem formation in the communication system at least both intentional utterances and acceptance/rejection need to be implemented. The comments about intrinsic vs extrinsic rewards made clear that this distinction is not helpful in the context of the constructivist paradigm but rather needs to be replaced by a critical reflection on whether (...)
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  117. A. Quale (2014). Ethics: A Radical-Constructivist Approach. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):256-261.
    Context: The theory of radical constructivism offers a tool for the evaluation of knowledge in general: especially with regard to its epistemic and ontological character. This applies in particular to knowledge that is non-cognitive, such as, e.g., ethical convictions. Problem: What impact can radical constructivism have on the topic of ethics? Specifically, how can ethical issues be resolved within a radical-constructivist epistemic approach? Method: I extend the theory of radical constructivism to include also items of non-cognitive knowledge. This makes it (...)
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  118. A. Quale (2014). Author's Response: Ethics: A Non-Cognitive Dimension in Radical-Constructivist Epistemology. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):277-282.
    Upshot: All my commentators have focused, with varying emphasis, on issues related to: (a) cognitive vs. non-cognitive knowledge, (b) the role of the social environment, and (c) ethical responsibility. These issues are addressed in this response.
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  119. W. Riofrío (2014). On the Emergence of Meaningful Information and Computing in Biology. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):244-245.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: Info-computational constructivism calls attention to some of the open questions about the origins of information and computation in the living realm. It remains unclear whether both were developed and shaped by evolution by natural selection or if they appeared in living systems independently of it. If the former, it is possible to sketch a scenario with a certain degree of reasonableness and postulate some of the conditions (...)
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  120. A. Scholl (2014). When Sharp Distinctions Fail to Be Useful. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):273-274.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: The sharp distinction between cognitive and non-cognitive knowledge provided by Andreas Quale prevents the author from finding well-founded reasons for constructivist ethics.
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  121. M. J. Schroeder (2014). Information, Computation and Mind: Who Is in Charge of the Construction? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):237-240.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Info-computational Constructivism and Cognition” by Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic. Upshot: Focusing on the relationship between info-computationalism and constructivism, I point out that there is a need to clarify fundamental concepts such as information, informational structures, and computation that obscure the theses regarding the relationship with constructivist thought. In particular, I wonder how we can reconcile constructivism with the view that all nature is a computational process.
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  122. L. P. Steffe (2014). Constructing Models of Ethical Knowledge: A Scientific Enterprise. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):262-264.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Ethics: A Radical-constructivist Approach” by Andreas Quale. Upshot: The first of my two main goals in this commentary is to establish thinking of ethics as concepts rather than as non-cognitive knowledge. The second is to argue that establishing models of individuals’ ethical concepts is a scientific enterprise that is quite similar to establishing models of individuals’ mathematical concepts. To accomplish these two primary goals, I draw from my experience of working scientifically with von Glasersfeld (...)
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  123. J. Stewart (2014). Freedom and Constraints. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):186-186.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: Urrestarazu, basing himself on Maturana and Varela, argues that human society is not autopoietic. This commentary presents a counter-argument, the main point being that freedom is not to be confused with an absence of constraints.
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  124. H. Urrestarazu (2014). Social Autopoiesis? Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):153-166.
    Context: In previous papers, I suggested six rules proposed by Varela, Maturana and Uribe as a validation test to assess the autopoietic nature of a complex dynamic system. Identifying possible non-biological autopoietic systems is harder than merely assessing self-organization, existence of embodied boundaries and some observable autonomous behavioural capabilities: any rigorous assessment should include a close observation of the “intra-boundaries” phenomenology in terms of components’ self-production, their spatial distribution and the temporal occurrence of interaction events. Problem: Under which physical and (...)
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  125. H. Urrestarazu (2014). Author's Response: From Humans to Human Social Systems. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):188-198.
    Upshot: Reflecting beyond the original intent of my paper, I respond to Luhmann-inspired commentaries by raising ontological-epistemological issues that stand before any attempt to build bridges between Maturana’s and Luhmann’s approaches to “autopoiesis.” I propose to look at the social from a vantage point from which human actors and their social doings (communications, among others) appear as equally relevant objects of knowledge in sociological theory-building.
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  126. R. Vanderstraeten (2014). The Autopoiesis of Social Systems. Constructivist Foundations 9 (2):181-183.
    Open peer commentary on the article “Social Autopoiesis?” by Hugo Urrestarazu. Upshot: It is not possible to conceive of social systems as autopoietic systems if one departs from actions. But Luhmann’s theory opts for communication as the basic unit of social systems. The autopoiesis of social systems emerges from communication, triggering further communication.
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