Publication 2369

Kordeš U. (2005) A peaceful coexistence of epistemologies – philosophy from the constructivist’s point of view. Kybernetes 34(1/2): 295–305. Fulltext at
Purpose: To explore possible innovations that constructivism and its epistemological participatory position offer to philosophy, in particular to the age‐old problem of grounding epistemological assumptions. Design/methodology/approach – The paper follows von Foerster’s account of the participatory position as an epistemological stance. It tries to explain why it is called a “position” rather than “insight” or “theory.” Constructivist (participatory) concepts are explored and related to “classical” philosophical debates such as the “Münchhausen trilemma.” In the conclusion the paper sketches possible ways of how to apply the answers of the participatory position to the philosophical discourse. Findings: The paper points at the possibility to go beyond the insurmountable boundaries dividing different epistemological positions one continuously encounters when searching for the appropriate epistemological starting point. As a result, one cannot expect answers to be universally valid. The paper takes that into consideration. It argues that most philosophical attempts are first order changes (revolutions) as they seek truth and exclude alternative views at the same time. Following von Foerster, the paper suggests second order changes that lead from truth to trust. This transition allows a peaceful coexistence of all philosophical systems. Turning from truth (and belief in analytical clarity) to trust and, consequently, from objectivity to responsibility, it may become possible to transcend the epistemological barriers. Originality/value – The paper contributes to finding a possible direction for the future of discourses in philosophy and many humanities in order to overcome the incompetence of philosophy of finding final answers.


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