The challenge of pragmatism for constructivism: Some perspectives in the programme of cologne constructivism

Journal of Speculative Philosophy 20 (3):165-191 (2006)
Abstract
: In this paper we wish to give a short introduction to the programme of interactive constructivism, an approach founded by Kersten Reich and under further development at the University of Cologne. This introduction will be combined with a discussion about the importance of pragmatism as a source of a socially oriented constructivism. For the Cologne programme, especially the philosophy of John Dewey has been very helpful in this respect. We will try to show this relation in two main steps. In the first part we will venture to reconsider Dewey's concept of experience from the standpoint of interactive constructivism. In the second part we will do the same with Dewey's concept of communication. Although we will not be able to explicate all the diverse and complex theoretical perspectives contained in both approaches, we will at least try to give you an impression of how pragmatism and constructivism might mutually enrich each other from our point of view. Please allow us to use a somewhat unconventional form of talk for this purpose. We will introduce in both parts the role of a hypothetical Dewey who discusses and exchanges ideas with us. Contrary to the way that Richard Rorty sometimes resorts to a hypothetical Dewey in his writings, we will use this figure to give Dewey the chance to quote from his own works in order to pose questions to us and criticize our views. Nevertheless, we are aware of the potential traps that such a procedure implies, and it's up to the reader to criticize our ways of selection and omission
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Stefan Neubert (2009). Pragmatism, Constructivism, and the Theory of Culture. In Larry A. Hickman, Stefan Neubert & Kersten Reich (eds.), John Dewey Between Pragmatism and Constructivism. Fordham University Press.
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