Publication 5692

Poerksen B. (2004) Preface: The circular view of the world. In: Poerksen B. (ed.) The certainty of uncertainty: Dialogues introducing constructivism. Imprint Academic, Exeter: vii–xiii. Fulltext at
Excerpt: The constructivist thinking game is being turned into a norm, a new creed – a new truth. To avoid the fossilisation and dogmatisation of thinking, all so-called constructivists must constantly make clear that there can be no final proof and no observer independent justification for their theses. Biology and brain research cannot, in any way, claim to be the trailblazers for the verification of constructivist assumptions; they can make them plausible, they can illustrate them, they can supply relevant indications, but they cannot prove their truth in an emphatic sense. Constructivism is itself only a construction (among many others); it cannot be tested for its truth but only for its utility, its viability. The main thing is, Ernst von Glasersfeld maintains in conversation, to develop effective procedures and assumptions, which will serve the purposes of particular observers. One must struggle to move forward, to explore whether one’s theses and theories prove productive or whether the big unknown, ordinarily and quite roughly called reality, resists our interpretations.

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