Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):7-15 (2014)

Alexander Riegler
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Context: Many recent research areas such as human cognition and quantum physics call the observer-independence of traditional science into question. Also, there is a growing need for self-reflexivity in science, i.e., a science that reflects on its own outcomes and products. Problem: We introduce the concept of second-order science that is based on the operation of re-entry. Our goal is to provide an overview of this largely unexplored science domain and of potential approaches in second-order fields. Method: We provide the necessary conceptual groundwork for explorations in second-order science, in which we discuss the differences between first- and second-order science and where we present a roadmap for second-order science. The article operates mainly with conceptual differentiations such as the separation between three seemingly identical concepts such as Science II, Science 2.0 and second-order science. Results: Compared with first-order science, the potential of second-order science lies in 1. higher levels of novelty and innovations, 2. higher levels of robustness and 3. wider integration as well as higher generality. As first-order science advances, second-order science, with re-entry as its basic operation, provides three vital functions for first-order science, namely a rich source of novelty and innovation, the necessary quality control and greater integration and generality. Implications: Second-order science should be viewed as a major expansion of traditional scientific fields and as a scientific breakthrough towards a new wave of innovative research. Constructivist content: Second-order science has strong ties with radical constructivism, which can be qualified as the most important root/origin of second-order science. Moreover, it will be argued that a new form of cybernetics is needed to cope with the new problems and challenges of second-order science
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
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

Laws of Form.G. Spencer-Brown - 1972 - New York: Julian Press.
World Risk Society.Ulrich Beck - 2012 - In Jan Kyrre Berg Olsen Friis, Stig Andur Pedersen & Vincent F. Hendricks (eds.), A Companion to the Philosophy of Technology. Wiley-Blackwell.
The Sociology of Sociology.Anthony King - 2007 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 37 (4):501-524.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

A New Course of Action.K. H. Müller & A. Riegler - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):1-6.
Second-Order Science is Enacted Constructivism.M. R. Lissack - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):35-37.
Do We Also Need Second-Order Mathematics?J. P. Van Bendegem - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):34-35.
Doing Second-Order R&D.R. Ison - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):130-131.
Beyond a “Levels View” of Science.W. Callebaut - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):79-80.
Do We Need a Second-Order Science?M. A. Notturno - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):23-26.
First Aid for Climate Research with Second-Order Science.W. Krauß - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):132-133.
Second-Order Science: Logic, Strategies, Methods.S. A. Umpleby - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):16-23.
The Promise and Prospects of Second-Order Science.D. Rousseau - 2014 - Constructivist Foundations 10 (1):37-38.


Added to PP index

Total views
449 ( #17,844 of 2,448,082 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
38 ( #17,948 of 2,448,082 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes