Footprints in the Sand: Radical Constructivism and the Mystery of the Other

Constructivist Foundations 6 (1):90-99 (2010)
Context: Few professional philosophers have addressed in any detail radical constructivism, but have focused instead on the related assumptions and limitations of postmodern epistemology, various anti-realisms, and subjective relativism. Problem: In an attempt to supply a philosophical answer to the guest editors’ question, “Why isn’t everyone a radical constructivist?” I address the realist (hence non-radical) implications of the theory’s invocation of “others” as an invariable, observer-independent, “external” constraint. Results: I argue that constructivists cannot consistently defend a radically subjectivist theory of knowing while remaining entirely agnostic about the nature and existence of the larger world (including independent others). That is, any non-solipsistic account of human experience must explicitly acknowledge its extra-subjective, ontological dimension. Implications: It follows that no pedagogical, social, philosophical, or commonsensical insight associated with so-called “trivial” or “social” constructivism survives or receives any support from the move to radical constructivism
Keywords Ernst von Glasersfeld  solipsism  fictional posits  ontological agnosticism  others  subjects  observer-independence
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
M. A. Boden (2010). Against Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 6 (1):84-89.
A. Quale (2010). Objections to Radical Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 6 (1):12-18.
Ernst von Glasersfeld (2005). Thirty Years Constructivism. Constructivist Foundations 1 (1):9--12.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

10 ( #410,793 of 1,932,585 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #456,398 of 1,932,585 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.