The Two Epistemologies of Ernst von Glasersfeld

Constructivist Foundations 6 (2):220-226 (2011)
Purpose: The article pursues three aims. First, it intends to differentiate between two different approaches for knowledge studies, namely an empirical and a normative mode. In a second move, two different epistemologies in the work of Ernst von Glasersfeld will be introduced under the labels of “Epistemology I” and “Epistemology II.” Epistemology I relates to empirical research, Epistemology II is normative in nature. Third, the article makes the point that while Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Epistemology II has already been presented in a finite and mature form, his empirical analysis of cognitive processes still provides a rich pool of tools and designs that should be further developed and advanced in the years and decades ahead. Method: The article is analytical in nature, identifying the different building blocks and relational networks of von Glasersfeld’s two epistemologies. By this, the article intends to contribute to a further advancement of von Glasersfeld’s Epistemology I. Results: The main finding lies in recognizing the radical and innovative elements of von Glasersfeld’s Epistemology I and on the still-challenging research designs of Epistemology I
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