Biosemiotics deal with the study of signs and meanings in living entities. Constructivism considers human knowledge as internally constructed by sense making rather than passively reflecting a pre-existing reality. Consequently, a constructivist perspective on biosemiotics leads to look at an internal active construction of meaning in living entities from basic life to humans. That subject is addressed with an existing tool: the Meaning Generator System (MGS) which is a system submitted to an internal constraint related to the nature of the (...) agent containing it (biological or artificial). Simple organisms generate meanings to satisfy a “stay alive” constraint. More complex living entities manage meaningful representations with more elaborated constraints. The generated meanings are used by the agents to implement actions aimed at satisfying the constraints. The actions can be physical, biological or mental and take place in the agent or in its environment. The case of human agency is introduced with meaningful representations that may have allowed our ancestors to become self-conscious by representing themselves as existing entities. This paper proposes to use the MGS as a thread to address the above items linking biosemiotics to constructivism with relations to normativity, agency and autonomy. Possible continuations are introduced. (shrink)
In a recent article in this journal, Stump argues that pragmatism distances itself from absolutism due to its assent to fallibilism while it rejects relativism at the same time because of its insistence on experience. Therefore, pragmatism can provide a third position between relativism and absolutism. I argue in this note that his argument is profoundly inadequate for both claims. Fallibilism is compatible with both relativism and absolutism, and accordingly cannot be considered as the middle ground. Furthermore, the experience itself (...) and the way it is inferred from is the subject of the relativists’ debates, not a response. (shrink)
Constructivism is frequently met with objections, criticism and often equated with nihilism or relativism. Sometimes even blamed for what some would randomly picture as unwanted side effects of radicalism or of a progressivist era: such misconceptions are not only due to an imprecise grasp of the premises shared by the constructivist family of systems. The structure of media, political systems, and economic models, still up today impel societal understandings of knowledge on neo-positivistic grounds. The first part of this essay outlines (...) such pressures while sketching how language and worldviews play critical roles in our knowledge construction. Focusing on recent mediatic events, this work advances displaying some essential limits regarding the construction of human knowledge. Though unavoidable, some of the distinguishing aspects regarding the nature of our narratives are then critically reviewed. Later, it is shown how a special kind of self-denial that certain sub-stories implicitly hold about their own narrative nature leaves us with clashing worldviews that eventually collide onto crisis. Finally, it’ll be argued that it’s precisely in this scenario where a constructivist depiction of social discourses may move us away from any adolescent intent of elucidating absolutes within mere heuristics, to the pragmatic need of arriving on satisfactory agreements between parties (DOI: 10.4236/ojpp.2022). (shrink)
This paper raises the hypothesis that M. Bakhtin’s creative category of chronotope is within the dynamic of epistemology and socio-constructivism. To this end, two philosophical conceptions are analyzed: Bakhtin’s theory of chronotope as a formally constitutive category of literature and Kant’s transcendental aesthetics and transcendental schematism. This comparative analysis shows that chronotope surpasses its primary field of literary analysis and is interpretable not only as an epistemological category which determines the sense experience of the observer, but also as socio-constructivist category (...) which provides reality with an image of a totality of symbolic social institutes. In this way, it is proposed to understand the concept of reality as the multidimensional image. (shrink)
The paper tries to demonstrate the hypothesis that the Enlightenment epistemology is the unity of the constructivist theory of knowledge—that developed the transcendental conditions of knowing—and the ethical maximalism of the categorical imperative. Actually, the ethical maximalism was conceived of and is conceivable only in tandem with and as a result of the epistemological constructivism that alone enables the responsibility without which the ethical stakes remain an exterior normative speculation. The unity supported the development of the concept of critique as (...) autonomous use of reason, of education of the critical spirit, and of public presence of critiques. Surveying Kant’s What is Enlightenment and Contest of Faculties, the concepts and the logic related to the critical spirit are described, as well as their interpretations mainly by Foucault. The radical character of Enlightenment is given not by its liberal political theories but just by the above mentioned unity. With Enlightenment, criticism became more than the critique of empirical facts and abstract theories: it became a transcendental method uniting the conditions of every type of criticism and advancing the logic of self-criticism and moral construction. (shrink)
L’article poursuit un double objectif. D’une part, il propose une revue de l’articulation des concepts de genre et de sexe au prisme de la biologie de l’évolution dans le champ des études féministes francophones (cette délimitation tenant à la fois à des raisons de place, de pertinence scientifique et d’accessibilité au public non spécialiste). A cette fin, il propose également une définition du concept de constructivisme qui soit compatible avec le naturalisme, s’inscrivant en cela dans l’état contemporain de la philosophie (...) générale des sciences. Une fois mis en place ces éléments de cartographie du débat, le second objectif de l’article consiste à prendre au sérieux la diversité actuelle des concepts de sexe en biologie. Il insiste sur la nécessité d’une clarification conceptuelle des différents niveaux impliqués, et propose pour cela d’en finir avec la terminologie unique du sexe : celle-ci, en favorisant des confusions entre différents concepts, constitue un coût cognitif qu’il faut dépasser. Ce coût cognitif s’articule à un coût social. En effet, un tel flou conceptuel favorise en même temps dans la sphère publique une naturalisation abusive – puisque scientifiquement douteuse – de comportements sociaux inégalitaires. L’approche constructiviste ne consiste donc pas à nier la contrainte empirique de la nature. Il s’agit plutôt, à partir de la mise en évidence de la circulation des représentations entre la société en général et la science en particulier, de se doter d’outils d’analyse réflexifs et scientifiquement maîtrisés pour aborder les problématiques éthiques, politiques et épistémiques impliquées par cette circulation. (shrink)
The author discusses some tensions between realism and constructivism in the theory of knowledge and the corresponding research programs in the philosophy of science. In this paper, he argues that the development of transcendentalism can help reduce these tensions. He considers the way for Kant’s transcendentalism development, which is connected with the semiotic interpretation proposed by K.-O. Apel. The author suggests the new interpretation of transcendentalism according to which the transcendental exists as a proto-norm, which is a spontaneous act that (...) assigns the “given” object either the status of a sign reffering to a certain meaning, or the status of a meaning reffering to a certain expression. The author develops G. Frege’s concept of meaning and argues that the existence of two kinds of meaning, which corresponds with the two fundamental characteristics of consciousness: intensionality and responsiveness. Given this, a transcendental act generates either intensional or responsive meanings of the reality. The proposed symbolic interpretation of transcendentalism allows us explain the emergence of realism and constructivism as semiotic types of cultures and overcome the tensions between them. It is also shown that this version of symbolic transcendentalism is promising for explaining the nature of absolute existences in both classical and non-classical physical theories. The examples of such existences as absolute space and absolute time in Newtonian mechanics and absolute standards in G. Weil's theory of gauge fields are considered. These transcendental existences cannot be interpreted as real physical objects, and at the same time they are necessary for the interpretation of physical experiments. The author comes to the conclusion that transcendentalism is a promising program for the development of philosophy of science as an area for researches in normativity, sign-symbolic structures of cognitive processes, and the forms of knowledge. (shrink)
In this article, the author proceeds from the conceptual reversal of cultural-historical epistemology to the personal, historical, and social experience of a representative of an intellectual culture and his understanding and rethinking of his methodological attitudes. The idea of the article is that cultural-historical epistemology makes it possible to present natural-scientific and philosophical individual reflection as a specific component of the development of special tools, which are capable of recording and assessing the methodological effectiveness of research activities taking into account (...) individual cognitive experience. For this purpose, the author turns to the issue of an autobiographical narrative – a narrative containing the personal experience of working scientists rethinking their own methodological attitudes. The specific character of ego-documents, and moreover, ego-texts of a natural scientific kind in this case is corroborated by the ideas of cultural-histori - cal epistemology. A scientist is turned to Other, whether in himself or in the narrative. Here scientific methodology and autobiographical narrative are conceptually mixed. As the main material reveals the meaning of the above idea, ego-texts by A.A. Ukhtomsky were selected. While comprehending the fate of domestic and foreign science and also perfectly imagining the further development of multiple “systems of knowledge”, Ukhtomsky still saw a living person – the Interlocutor – behind this process. The need to preserve this image in front of oneself, to preserve the Dominant on the face of Other, this internal orientation, are brought by Ukhtomsky to a conceptually higher level. In this case, the narrative is viewed as a type of reflection that allows one to explicate and give a personal assessment of the effectiveness of the methodological guidelines, based on which the scientist chooses certain areas of research. (shrink)
This original research hypothesises that the most fundamental building blocks of logical descriptions of cognitive, or knowledge, agents’ descriptions are expressible based on their conceptions (of the world). This article conceptually and logically analyses agents’ conceptions in order to offer a constructivist- based logical model for terminological knowledge. The most significant characteristic of [terminological] knowing is that there are strong interrelationships between terminological knowledge and the individualistic constructed, and to-be-constructed, models of knowledge. Correspondingly, I conceptually and logically analyse conception expressions (...) based on terminological knowledge, and I show how terminological knowledge may reasonably be assumed to be constructed based on the agents’ conceptions of the world. The focus of my model is on terminological knowledge structures, which may find applications in such diverse fields as the Semantic Web and educational/learning systems. (shrink)
José Ángel Gascón’s essay "Where are dissent and reasons in epistemic justification?" is an exposition of a version of a social functionalist epistemology. I agree with Gascón's emphasis on reasons and on taking into account dissent as important parts of epistemology. But I think that these concerns do not require a social functionalist epistemology, but that, on the contrary, Gascón's social functionalist epistemology throws the baby out with the bathwater. It does so by excluding also a traditional, at its core (...) individualistic epistemology, which defines central concepts like 'justified', 'knowledge' still in individualistic terms as the result of a mental cognizing process but is open to social extensions, e.g. concerning cooperation in the acquisition of knowledge or the transfer of knowledge via argumentation. Such a socially open epistemology with an individualistic core – or "open individualistic epistemology" for short – is also the basis of the epistemological argumentation theory. In the following I want to explain and defend this open individualistic epistemology together with the epistemological argumentation theory (sect. 2) and explain on this basis some problems of Gascón’s theory (sect. 3). (shrink)
This article explores the metaphor of Science as provider of sharp images of our environment, using the epistemological framework of Objective Cognitive Constructivism. These sharp images are conveyed by precise scientific hypotheses that, in turn, are encoded by mathematical equations. Furthermore, this article describes how such knowledge is pro-duced by a cyclic and recursive development, perfection and reinforcement process, leading to the emergence of eigen-solutions characterized by the four essential properties of precision, stability, separability and composability. Finally, this article discusses (...) the role played by ontology and metaphysics in the scientific production process, and in which sense the resulting knowledge can be considered objective. (shrink)
As parents, we want to raise our children to become creative, happy, and productive individuals in the future. I am currently raising two small children. More than anything, I find parents’ job is to explore with and educate your children on the landscape of different emotions and how to deal with emotional situations appropriately. However, it is important to acknowledge that even as an adult, I cannot say I have full emotional control and a full scientific understanding of emotions. This (...) essay will explore some aspects of the current scientific theories of emotions and their implications for parenting. (shrink)
How children seek knowledge and evaluate claims may depend on their understanding of the source of knowledge. What shifts in their understandings about why scientists might disagree and how claims about the state of the world are justified? Until about the age of 41/2, knowledge is seen as self-evident. Children believe that knowledge of reality comes directly through our senses and what others tell us. They appeal to these external sources in order to know. The attainment of Theory of Mind (...) (ToM) at this age is commonly seen as the significant shift in development in understanding disagreements in knowledge claims. Children attaining ToM understand that someone exposed to incorrect or incomplete information might have false beliefs. Disagreement, then, is still attributed to objective sources of knowledge. The current study examines the later developing Interpretive Theory of Mind (iToM) as the basis for children’s understanding of how people with access to the same information might disagree and what this means for how to provide justification for a knowledge claim. Fourteen 2nd graders with the most iToM responses to four tasks and 14 with the fewest iToM responses were selected from a larger sample of 91. In analyses of interviews about a story in which two experts make different claims about a scientific phenomenon, those in the high iToM group noted subjective perspective and processes as the source of disagreement and suggested the need for investigation as the means to knowing. In contrast, those in the low iToM group mostly could not explain the source of disagreement and held that knowledge is acquired from external sources. A comparison of the interviews regarding the science story 2 years later allows for a qualitative description of the development. Those in the low iToM group showed more general recognition of subjective and constructive processes in knowing whereas those in the high iToM group identified interpretive processes and the relativity of perspectives with implications for how observations were conducted and interpreted. Only those in the high iToM group referred to the importance of evidence as a basis for knowledge claims at either point in the study. (shrink)
Post-Truth is an insightful, thorough text which examines issues of truth with more nuance and clarity than most other recent works in the field. The book succeeds most overtly in its ability to present a case for why post-truth studies need be done. To understand the contemporary world, the promises of past theories, and where things go wrong in political controversy, we have to understand how post-truth in its contemporary condition unites all fields of inquiry.
Philosophy ultimately searches for what lies beyond the possible. This question is what makes us human. We ask about the limits of language, the framing of the world, and how by breaking with what always already is we invite a madness that makes further understanding impossible. -/- This book presents a call to withstand the normalcy that presents itself as continual variations of the ‘new’. To face the illusions that clutter reality and to engage in asking the final question that (...) is left for us to answer, to un-answer, to suffer again and again. The question of the necessity of the impossible. (shrink)
Sharon Street defines her constructivism about practical reasons as the view that whether something is a reason to do a certain thing for a given agent depends on that agent’s normative point of view. However, Street has also maintained that there is a judgment about practical reasons which is true relative to every possible normative point of view, namely constructivism itself. I show that the latter thesis is inconsistent with Street’s own constructivism about epistemic reasons and discuss some consequences of (...) this incompatibility. (shrink)
Para el constructivismo, la ciencia y la cognición comparten intereses similares. Ambos dominios pueden describirse como dos sistemas entrelazados que se activan mutuamente y se modulan entre sí a través de un lazo interno de retroalimentación, lazo que opera mediante la dinámica interna representativa en el caso de la cognición y mediante la dinámica del desarrollo teórico en el caso de la ciencia. Cada uno de estos dominios —ciencia y cognición— busca generar un marco de interacción adecuado que garantice, por (...) parte de la ciencia, el éxito predictivo a partir de los modelos utilizados en la investigación y, por parte de la cognición, una amplia gama de estrategias funcionalmente exitosas con las que salvaguardar una imagen viable del mundo. Al pensar la ciencia como una extensión de nuestra apertura cognitiva al mundo, el constructivismo adopta la noción de viabilidad, es decir, de ajuste funcional, con el entorno como fundamental en la correcta aproximación al estudio tanto de la cognición como de la modelización, ya que, al igual que ocurre con las estructuras y procesos que conforman la arquitectura cognitiva de cualquier sistema de observación, más o menos evolucionado, los modelos en ciencia se encuentran limitados por su propia estructura teórica, así como por su dinámica operativa. Adoptando el constructivismo como una factible filosofía de la ciencia, este trabajo tiene como objetivo estudiar el fenómeno de la modelización, así como examinar el papel que asumen algunas estrategias tropológicas inherentes a la actividad científica, como la analogía y la metáfora, a la hora de configurar modelos y formular hipótesis y conjeturas que sirven de aproximación para la indagación y el estudio del mundo empírico. (shrink)
Upshot: Furthering the commentators’ input, we seek to clarify the reasons that fueled some of our decisions when constructing the analytical framework introduced in the target article. We reassert our case of pursuing a pluralistic and dialogic constructivism. In particular we discuss the proposal of axes and tensions, such as knowledge/reality and individual/society. Finally, we discuss some of the alternative proposals suggested by the commentators, which are mainly based on what the constructivist research programs have in common.
Context: Constructivist epistemology is not a doctrinal set of clear and consistent theses and assumptions but a movement full of tensions, with minimally integrated lines of discussions. Problem: This situation explains why it is so difficult to come up with a general definition of constructivist epistemology that could serve as a starting point to study its several research programs systematically and comparatively. Method: We compare the constructivist epistemologies of Jean Piaget, Ernst von Glasersfeld, Humberto Maturana, and Niklas Luhmann regarding tensions (...) between knowledge/reality and individual/society. Results: Our comparison leads to a general definition of constructivist epistemology as a heterogeneous movement problematizing certain dualities - such as subject/object, knowledge/reality, or individual/society - that have been shown to be central for epistemological inquiry. We argue that such dualisms can be used as dimensions for critical analysis, comparison, and discussion among the different research programs, and that, at the same time, they would allow us to analyze the general strategies characterizing such programs. The comparative and critical analysis of the programs by way of the aforementioned tensions results in an organized presentation highlighting their convergences, divergences, and singularities. (shrink)
Zijn filosofen gek? Zo ja, waarom? En ligt dat dan aan de filosoof, aan de filosofie of aan de diagnostiek? Dat zijn de vragen die in 'Diagnose van de moderne filosoof' centraal staan. Nicole des Bouvrie neemt aan de hand van het diagnostische handboek van psychiaters en psychologen (de DSM-V) de situatie van de hedendaagse denker onder de loep. Autisme, psychoses, anorexia en andere aandoeningen passeren de revue, om aan de hand van een grondige anamnese van hedendaagse denkbeelden uit de (...) westerse filosofie een diagnose te stellen. ''Des Bouvrie laat als geen ander zien hoe filosofie en waanzin zich in elkaar kunnen verstrikken, maar ook hoe ze bij elkaar een zone van vrijheid vinden.'' Filosoof Wouter Kusters, winnaar Socratesbeker 2015. (shrink)
Constructivist approaches in epistemology and ethics offer a promising account of normativity. But constructivism faces a powerful Schmagency Objection, raised by David Enoch. While Enoch’s objection has been widely discussed in the context of practical norms, no one has yet explored how the Schmagency Objection might undermine epistemic constructivism. In this paper, I rectify that gap. First, I develop the objection against a prominent form of epistemic constructivism, Belief Constitutivism. Belief Constitutivism is susceptible to a Schmagency Objection, I argue, because (...) it locates the source of normativity in the belief rather than the agent. In the final section, I propose a version of epistemic constructivism that locates epistemic normativity as constitutive of agency. I argue that this version has the resources to respond to the Schmagency Objection. (shrink)
Opponents of epistemological constructivism traditionally accuse it of relativism, of the aspiration to serve society, but not the objective truth. In response to these charges, relying on the principles of the sociology of knowledge, the author investigates an issue of social legitimation of epistemological realism position. He considers opposition of Ancient Greek paideia projects (Isokrates vs. Plato). As a result of Plato's victory in this conflict, dispositions of metaphysical realism were shaped. The author comes to a conclusion that the aspiration (...) to serve the objective truth is the integral component of elitism ideology by Plato's metaphysics. The ideology of elitarism was complimentary to the monarchical regimes, they needed in each other. It provided social legitimation of philosophy as an institution designed to improve the minds and judge the truth. The research allows to understanding better not only modern discussions between realists and constructivists but also the sociocultural significance of metaphysical realism which became for many centuries a model of the Western philosophy per se. Противники эпистемологического конструктивизма традиционно обвиняют его в релятивизме, в стремлении служить обществу, а не объективной истинности. В ответ на эти обвинения, опираясь на принципы социологии знания, автор статьи исследует вопрос о социальной легитимации позиции эпистемологического реализма. Он анализирует содержание двух конкурирующих пайдетических проектов, Исократа и Платона, в аспектах соотношения и взаимосвязи ключевых понятий: добродетель, власть, истина. В результате победы платоновского проекта были оформлены диспозиции метафизического реализма. Автор приходит к выводу, что стремление к познанию объективной истины является неотъемлемым компонентом элитаристской идеологии в метафизике Платона. Идеология элитаризма была компли¬ментарна монархическим режимам. Она обеспечивала социальную легитимацию философии в качестве институции, призванной воспитывать умы и судить об истине. Данное исследование позволяет лучше понимать не только современные дискуссии между реалистами и конструктивистами, но и социокультурное значение мета-физического реализма, ставшего на многие столетия образцом западной философии как таковой. (shrink)
Статья посвящена выявлению оснований доксологии Матса Розенгрена – шведского философа, который пытается реабилитировать доксу в теории познания и рассматривает возможность построения «протагорейской гносеологии». Доксология – это вариант натурализованной конструктивистской теории познания, развивающийся на базе риторической версии философской антропологии, где формулируется реалистичная версия субъекта познавательной деятельности. Познание, с точки зрения доксологии, – это преобразование человеческими коллективами мира и себя, предпосылкой которого является освоение объективированных результатов своей предшествующей деятельности. В ходе исследования использованы методы интерпретации и критический метод философии с опорой на принципы (...) историзма, непротиворечивости и системности рассмотрения. Показано, что выражением доксологической позиции и доксологического стиля мышления является неософистическая трактовка тезиса Протагора о человекомерности. Согласно этой трактовке, человек – это человечество, а не индивид; мерой, общей для всех людей, является логос, который формирует природу человека и мира в целом. В основе доксологической трактовки познавательной деятельности лежит схема функционального круга логоса и доксы. Содержательные предпосылки доксологического стиля мышления Розенгрен находит в работах П. Бурдьё, Л. Флека, Э. Кассирера, К. Касториадиса, в которых продемонстрировано, как фактически способы восприятия, мышления и действия, и способы производства, объективации и освоения опыта человеческих коллективов могут взаимозависимо конструировать друг друга. (shrink)
Several scholars observed that narratives about the human past are evaluated comparatively. Few attempts have been made, however, to explore how such evaluations are actually done. Here I look at a lengthy “contest” among several historiographic narratives, all constructed to make sense of another one—the biblical story of the conquest of Canaan. I conclude that the preference of such narratives can be construed as a rational choice. In particular, an easily comprehensible and emotionally evocative narrative will give way to a (...) complex and mundane one, when the latter provides a more coherent account of the consensually accepted body of evidence. This points to a fundamental difference between historiographic narratives and fiction, contrary to some influential opinions in the philosophy of historiography. Such historiographic narratives have similarities with hypotheses and narrative explanations in natural science. (shrink)
Post-truth is described as a phenomenon existing at the public sphere, which consists in special emphasis on the ideologic aspect of expression, while at the same time marginalizing aspect of facts. it seems that in looking for the reasons for this behavior, statement that this practice is simply more effective is insufficient. It's not possible to describe well the phenomenon of post-truth without analyzing transformations of the epistemological plane from which the phenomenon of post-judgment emerged. One of the most important (...) moments in history that could serve as a point of reference for these considerations may be the modern project, which was especially developed in philosophy of Immanuel Kant. His epistemology, based on Enlightend Reason, says that objective truths may be obtained through empirical cognition. The rejection of this approach can be linked to the fragmentation of the Logos, which consisted in the recognition that there is no point of reference capable of guaranteeing and justifying the only true, objective cognition. Thus it seems that the fact, that in public debates rhetoric wins over dialectic, is closely related to the transformations that have taken place on the philosophical plane. (shrink)
Amidst the broad divergence in opinion of philosophers and scientists at understanding reality that has lent character to the historical epochs of the Philosophical enterprise, the crucial realization has always been, of the necessity of Epistemology in our entire program of making inquiry into ‘What Is’. This realization seems born out of the erstwhile problem of knowing. Epistemology, which investigates the nature, sources, limitations and validating of knowledge, offers a striking challenge here. Since we have no direct access to our (...) world around us, outside of the subjective experience offered us by our senses, we are handicapped at making comparisons of our beliefs with a concrete world, out there, or with elements of the world. Our statements about the world seem to stand alone, buffeted against the intimidating tide of possible contradicting circumstances. Our putative claims to knowledge, therefore, face the exigency of justification. Ayer, expressing the urgency of resolving this persisting lacuna, provides an alternative criterion of knowing, as ‘having the right to be sure’. Thus, it is this deep-seated concern that has evolved, over time, to become the primary thrust of the project of Epistemology, raising the controversy over which, of Epistemology or Metaphysics, is to be accorded the prime status of first philosophy. However, Aquinas is wise to build his epistemological premise on a firm metaphysical support, clarifying the needed development from being to knowledge. For, being has to first exist to constitute the object of perception, belief, and knowledge. Accordingly, our exposition of Aquinas’ epistemology will first take a cursory look at the theoretical and historical background to Aquinas’ Philosophy, before offering a general characterization of his theory of knowledge. Then, the paper will discuss his concept of sense perception as a basis for all knowing, followed closely by an analysis of cognition and Scientia. (shrink)
In this research constructivist epistemology provides a ground for conceptual analysis of concept construction, conception production, and concept learning processes. Relying on a constructivist model of knowing, this research will make an epistemological and logical linkage between concepts and predicates.
The multilevel conversational exchanges between a mentor and a learner could be seen as a radical constructivist account of their comprehensions. The process of knowledge construction could be realised to have significant importance in the context of mentor-learner interactions. The most important fundamental is that ‘the conversational exchanges between mentors and learners ask questions and give answers concerning their individual conceptions, comprehensions and reasonings’. These questions and answers are the main building blocks of the ‘Relations’ between mentors and learners. In (...) this article, I will employ Predicate Logic in order to focus on the relationships between learners and mentors. This research will—conceptually and logically—be concerned with [formal] semantic analysis of mentoring-learning relationships in the context of constructivist interactions. The conclusions will shed light on how a [formal] semantics for constructivist interactions is established. (shrink)
The initial problem which motivated the writing of this thesis arose from reading of Emile by Rousseau. In this work, it was possible to detect the influence of different theoretical approaches, such as rationalism and empiricism, inspiring the development of the educational plan designed by Rousseau for his imaginary student (Emile). The very core question of the present thesis regards to whether there was a theory of knowledge pertaining to Rousseau’s philosophical thinking and, if so, how it was related to (...) his theories of education. In the set of his oeuvre, Rousseau’s affiliation to authors like Descartes, Leibniz, Locke and Malebranche, as well as Condillac, Diderot, D’Holbach and Helvétius was discovered. As the reading of the great philosophical work of Rousseau progressed, an original knowledge theory was discovered, of the kind which accepts the coexistence of opposite thoughts. Pedagogy, in the context of (the work) Emile, arose out of the miscellany of such theories and also for the intense philosophical maturing process on the core of Rousseau’s thinking. This study intended, therefore, to understand the origin and development of Rousseau’s theory of knowledge, and also to figure out how the philosopher formulated his theories on Education, especially in Emile. The object of this research, materialized through the extensive bibliography of the Swiss philosopher, was intensively read and analyzed. The methodology used was that of comparative, descriptive and critical documentary research of the mentioned authors. This research is divided into three sections: the first one intends to investigate the philosophical influence from different authors on the foundations of Rousseau’s epistemology; the second section addresses Rousseau’s theories of Education; the third and final part investigates the link between theory of knowledge and Education within Rousseau’s philosophical thought. -/- . (shrink)
In this article I would like to discuss the concept of a priori mainly focusing on Kant’s Copernican revolution. How is metaphysics at all possible and how a priority takes place in Kantian metaphysics are the questions that I have addressed in the first part of my article. In this context, I have explained analytic, synthetic distinction from epistemological, metaphysical and semantical perspectives and I want to show how the concept of a priori and other associated notions are derived from (...) this different perspective. I end my discussion with an account of some fundamental objections raised by Quine and Kripke against Kantian analysis. Quine mainly wants to deny the traditional analytic and synthetic distinction. Besides, Kripke is trying to show that it is not true that the traditional account of the intimate relation between a priori and necessary proposition must be true, i.e., it is mistaken that a priori proposition must be necessary, it may be contingent. I would like to analyse and explain a few obstacles of Quine and Kripke following Putnam’s (externalist approach) and Quassim Cassam’s (non-empirical approach on a priority) line of different arguments. (shrink)
This paper discusses the main criticism launched against legal monism and the Pure Theory of Law, as envisaged by Hans Kelsen and the other proponents of the Vienna School of Jurisprudence, namely the criticism voiced by two of the most eminent legal theorists, HLA Hart and Joseph Raz. According to them, legal monism fails to offer a satisfactory theory of the identity of legal systems and it therefore simply cannot be considered a viable theory of legal systems, because it leads (...) to obviously absurd consequences. These arguments which take the form of an attack on the most basic tenets of the Pure Theory of Law and thus legal monism, will be duly addressed and consequently rebutted in this paper, particularly in order to be able to maintain legal monism in its juridico-epistemological manifestation as a working and viable theory of the law. (shrink)
Mit der Entfaltung des Problems der „zwei Reihen“, der Genesis philosophischer Begriffsbildung, vollzog Fichte einen paradigmatischen Einschnitt im Hinblick auf die Fassung der Rolle begrifflicher Momente in der menschlichen Erkenntnis. Dieser Schnitt erscheint aus der Perspektive des durch Hegel entfalteten Prinzips des Aufsteigens vom Abstrakten zum Konkreten gleichsam als ‚erledigt’. Eine solche Perspektive verdeckt jedoch den vollzogenen qualitativen Umbruch. Dieser gewinnt dadurch Kontur, wenn die durch Fichte angesprochenen Positionen in Beziehung zu der vorangegangenen Ausbildung methodischer Positionen in der europäischen Aufklärung (...) gesetzt werden. -/- With the development of the problem of the "two rows", the genesis of philosophical concept formation, Fichte made a paradigmatic break with regard to the understanding of the role of conceptual moments in human knowledge. From the perspective of the principle developed by Hegel of ascending from the abstract to the concrete, this cut appears as 'done', so to speak. Such a perspective, however, conceals the qualitative upheaval that has taken place. This gains contours when the positions addressed by Fichte are related to the previous formation of methodical positions in the European Enlightenment. (shrink)
Persuasion is a special aspect of our social and linguistic practices – one where an interlocutor, or an audience, is induced, to perform a certain action or to endorse a certain belief, and these episodes are not due to the force of the better reason. When we come near persuasion, it seems that, in general, we are somehow giving up factual discourse and the principles of logic, since persuading must be understood as almost different from convincing rationally. Sometimes, for example, (...) we can find persuasion a political speech that relies on our feelings, emotions and values, but we can also find a persuasive person a dodger, busy in his own questionable activities that are intentionally performed in order to mislead and manipulate other people. However, I do not want to try to define a general notion of persuasion from the beginning. I would rather start with a conception that already has a place, even if controversial, in the philosophical debate. In particular, the version that I have always found particularly provocative is that provided by Wittgenstein’s On Certainty. This peculiar version of the idea of persuasion, which is often associated with the possibility of overcoming deep disagreements, is quite famous in the literature and often understood as indicating certain intrinsic limits of our reason-giving practices. The following are Wittgenstein’s famous remarks on persuasion: -/- 608. Is it wrong for me to be guided in my actions by the propositions of physics? Am I to say I have no good ground for doing so? Isn’t precisely this what we call a ‘good ground’? -/- 609. Suppose we met people who did not regard that as a telling reason. Now, how do we imagine this? Instead of the physicist, they consult an oracle. (And for that we consider them primitive.) Is it wrong for them to consult an oracle and be guided by it? If we call this “wrong” aren’t we using our language-game as a base from which to combat theirs? -/- 611. Where two principles really do meet which cannot be reconciled with one another, then each man declares the other a fool and heretic. -/- 612. I said I would ‘combat’ the other man, – but wouldn’t I give him reasons? Certainly; but how far do they go? At the end of reasons comes persuasion. (Think what happens when missionaries convert natives.) -/- This paper is not devoted, as far as possible, to focus on interpretative matters about Wittgenstein’s late philosophy. Rather, it aims to investigate whether there are problems and incompatibilities between this particular conception of persuasion and our contemporary understanding of our reason-giving practices and of our belief-revision procedures. The first part of this study will be concerned about assessing this conception of persuasion and trying to shed new light on it (and on its consequences); most of the work here is done by looking at some truisms and normative features of our practices regarding the rational updating of our beliefs. It also addresses the question: Is the resistance to reasons of Wittgenstein’s persuasion capable to avoid the strict dynamics of belief revision? The second section of this study concerns the possibility of limiting the scope of this conception of persuasion, thanks to some of our contemporary ways of understanding rational discursive practices (I will focus especially on Robert Brandom’s game of “giving and asking for reasons”). If our rational practices require at least a certain degree of epistemic responsibility, then how is it possible that one invokes the end of reasons (that would explicitly mean giving up this responsibility)? A third section is the attempt, on this basis, to try to revise our contrasting conception(s) of persuasion (with an eye open on the near doxastic territory). Are there other conceptions of persuasion which are more compatible with our rational practices and do not entail any version of the “end of reasons” that are so compatible with our individual and social epistemic responsibility? (shrink)
In philosophy, there is an as yet unresolved discussion on whether there are different kinds of kinds and what those kinds are. In particular, there is a distinction between indifferent kinds, which are unaffected by observation and representation, and interactive kinds, which respond to being studied in ways that alter the very kinds under study. This is in essence a discussion on ontologies and, I argue, more precisely about ontological levels. The discussion of kinds of kinds can be resolved by (...) using a semiotic approach to ontological levels, building on the key semiotic concept of representation. There are three, and only three, levels of semiosis: non- or proto-semiotic processes without representation, such as physical or causal processes; semiotic processes with representation, such as the processes of life and cognition; and second-order semiotic processes with representation of representation, such as self-awareness and self-reflexive communication. This leads to the distinction between not two, but three kinds of kinds: indifferent, adaptive and reflexive kinds, of which the last two hitherto have not been clearly distinguished. (shrink)
This article attempts to make a conceptual and epistemological junction between human learning and machine learning. I will be concerned with specifying and analysing the structure of concepts in the common ground between a concept-based human learning theory and a concept-based machine learning paradigm. I will focus on (i) humans’ conceptual representations in the framework of constructivism (as an educational theory of learning and model of knowing) and constructionism (as a theory for conceptualising learning) and (ii) concept representations in the (...) framework of inductive concept learning (as an inductive machine learning paradigm). The results will support figuring out the most significant key points for constructing a conceptual linkage between a human learning theory and a machine learning paradigm. Accordingly, I will construct a conceptual ground for expressing and analysing concepts in the common ground of human and informatics sciences and in the context of human-machine interplays. (shrink)
This research works within the framework of constructivist learning (based on constructivist epistemology) and examines learning as an activity of construction, and it posits that knowledge acquisition (and learning) are transformative through self-involvement in some subject matter. Thus it leads, through this constructivism to a pedagogical theory of learning. I will mainly focus on conceptual and epistemological analysis of humans’ conceptualisations based on their own mental objects (schemata). Subsequently, I will propose an analytical specification of humans’ conceptualisations and understandings over (...) their mental structures in the framework of constructivism, and I will clarify my logical [and semantic] conceptions of humans’ concept understandings. This research focuses on the philosophy of education and on logics of human learning. It connects with the topics ‘Cognition in Education’ and ‘Mental Models’. (shrink)
Kelly suggested that it was useful to consider anyone as functioning as a scientist, in the business of applying theories, making hypotheses and predictions and testing them out in the practice of everyday life. One of Charles Peirce’s major contributions was to develop the disciplines of logic and the philosophy of science. We can deepen and enrich our understanding of Kelly’s vision by looking at what Peirce has to say about the process of science. For Peirce, the essence of science (...) was the application of the laws of inference. He developed a much broader concept of logic, elaborating the processes of deduction and induction and adding to these the logic of hypothetical inference, or ‘abduction’, even as Kelly broadened it further in his “departure from classical logic”. Examining the implications of these three forms of inference allows us to elaborate the dynamics involved in the process of construing, ordinacy and the cycles of experience, creativity and decision making. This is the second of a three part series examining the relationship between the work of Peirce and Kelly. The third will include a look at phenomenology, bipolarity, the self, dialogical process and sociological considerations. (shrink)
Rockmore’s paper offers a nice discussion on how classical German idealism provides a plausible account of the Parmenidean insight that thought and being are identical and suggests that idealist epistemic constructivism is arguably the most promising approach to cognition. In this short commentary, I will explore the implications of adopting other interpretations of Parmenidean identity thesis, which arguably lead to different conclusions than the ones drawn by Rockmore. En route to disavow the distinction between ontology and epistemology, I argue that (...) one may adopt an approach on cognition which would be immunized to worries that prompt Rockmore’s elaboration and also embrace (at least) some of its benefits. (shrink)
The notion of ‘phenomenotechnique’ which Gaston Bachelard introduced in the 1930’s has enjoyed popularity among historians of science who used it in order to insist upon the technical and social mediateness of scientific facts. In the wake of the current triumphal return to epistemological ‘realism,’ the idea of phenomenotechnique has been dismissed as an alleged relic of ‘constructivism.’ The article advocates for a different reading of ‘phenomenotechnique,’ which, rather than insisting on the fabrication of the scientific fact, highlights the intrinsic (...) connection of phenomenality and technicality. Phenomena are not simply given, they must be brought to visibility. While philosophies of technique have mostly stressed that technicity consists in overlooking the process (the ‘anesthesia’ of the medium), the paper argues for a conception of technicity that makes space for its productive, aestheticizing capacity. Finally, the article gestures towards parameters of what a ‘techno-aesthetics’ could look like. (shrink)
Regarding constructivism as a learning philosophy and/or a model of knowing, a person (learner or mentor) based on her/ his preconceptions and on personal knowings could actively participate in an interaction with another person (learner or mentor) in order to construct her/his personal knowledge. In this research I will analyse 'meaning construction' within constructivism. I will focus on a semantic loop that the learner and mentor as intentional participants move through and organise their personal constructed conceptions in order to construct (...) meanings and produce their individual meaningful comprehensions. Subsequently, I will provide a semantic framework for analysing the meaning construction based on personal knowings and personal conceptions within constructivist interactions. This research could propose a new scheme for interpretation based on semantics and on interaction. (shrink)
The design of academic conferences, in which settings ideas are shared and created, is, we suggest, of more than passing interest in constructivism, where epistemology is considered in terms of knowing rather than knowledge. The passivity and predominantly one-way structure of the typical paper presentation format of academic conferences has a number of serious limitations from a constructivist perspective, which are both practical and epistemological. While alternative formats abound, there is nevertheless increasing pressure reinforcing this format due to delegates’ funding (...) typically being linked to reading a paper. In this special issue, authors reflect on conferences that they have organized and participated in that have used alternative formats, such as conversational structures or other constructivist inspired approaches, in whole or in part. While issues raised are of relevance across disciplinary boundaries, contributions focus on two fields, that of cybernetics / systems, and that of design, in which the organisation of conferences is of particular concern: the environment of a design conference is something that we design; while a conference regarding systems or cybernetics is itself an instance of the sorts of process with which these disciplines are concerned. As well as contributing to conference design, discussions in this issue also reflect back on constructivism itself. Conference organization is an area in which constructivism may itself be understood in terms of practice rather than theory. This in turn helps connect ideas in constructivism with pragmatic fields, such as knowledge management, and recent discussions in this journal regarding second-order science. (shrink)
In this condensed survey, I look to recent perspectives on evolution suggesting that cultural change likely alters the genome. Since theories of development are nested within assumptions about evolution (evo-devo), I next review some oft-cited developmental theories and other psychological theories of the 20th century to see if any match the emerging perspectives in evolutionary theory. I seek theories based neither in nature (genetics) nor nurture (the environment) but in the creative play of human communication responding to necessity. This survey (...) finally looks to more recent work to do with the appearance of independent self-consciousness in the individual following empathic group awareness. The result of such self-created group awareness and symbolic communication is seen to be cultural consciousness, unique to humanity, from which individual consciousness and personhood derive. I conclude by noting the general implications for these approaches in our schools, politics, and in ultimate ontological questions. (shrink)
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.
It is common to criticize the idea of objectivity by claiming that we cannot make sense of any cognitive contact with the world that is not constituted by the very materials of our thinking, and to conclude that the idea must be abandoned and that the world is ‘well lost’. We resist this conclusion and argue for a notion of objectivity that places its source within the domain of thoughts by proposing a conception of facts, akin to McDowell’s, as thinkable (...) while independent of any act of thinking. However, we do so without any empiricist commitment. (shrink)
Wilfrid Sellars’ philosophical system joins issues that have often been regarded as incompatible or at least in mutual tension. Two of these are his holistic approach to language and knowledge on the one hand and his realism on the other hand. In my paper I first outline this tension and then present a number of steps, including the rejection of semantic relations, picturing and the defense of realism, which can help us to accommodate it. I highlight the payoff of these (...) steps for the question to be solved. In the last part of the paper I detect new and more refined tensions revealed by Sellars’ solution. I identify possible dissonances between his Kantian and his naturalist treatment of causality as well as between his two ways of conceiving of language arguing that these new questions furnish a more interesting approach to our initial problem. (shrink)
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.
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.