Constructivist Foundations 13 (2):191-198 (2018)

Authors
Gaston Becerra
Universidad de Buenos Aires (UBA)
Abstract
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.
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