Hegel and epistemological constructivism

Idealistic Studies 36 (3):183-190 (2006)
Abstract
This is a paper about Hegelian constructivism in relation to theory of knowledge. Constructivism, which is known at least since Greek antiquity, isunderstood in different ways. In philosophy, epistemological constructivism is often rejected, and only occasionally studied. Kantian constructivism is examinedfrom time to time under the heading of the Copernican revolution. Hegelian constructivism, which is best understood as a reaction to and revision of Kantianepistemology, seems never to have been discussed in detail. This paper will sketch the outlines of Hegelian constructivism in relation to the critical philosophy. Hegelian constructivism amounts to an intrinsically historical view of epistemology as a trial and error process situated in the social context. Knowledge emerges from a trial and error process in which we construct a cognitive framework to grasp objects constructed in and through this process. I suggest that the considerableinterest of a historical, constructivist, phenomenological approach to knowledge, such as Hegel’s, lies in its largely unexplored possibilities for advancing theepistemological debate
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