Armezzani M. & Chiari G. (2015) Ideas for a phenomenological interpretation and elaboration of personal construct theory. Part 3. Clinic, psychotherapy, research. Costruttivismi 2: 58–77. https://cepa.info/1251
In this part of our work about a comparison between Kelly’s personal construct theory and phenomenology, we enter the fields of psychotherapy and research. The topic of intersubjectivity, meant as original recognition of the other’s subjectivity, provides a backdrop for both phenomenological clinic and Kellyan psychotherapy. Though Kelly never used the term “intersubjectivity,” his theory and the corollary of sociality in particular, reveals a view of interpersonal relationships as intercorporeality, which is much closer to phenomenological ideas than to the cognitive ones. Depending on such commonality, in either cases clinical relationship is not viewed as an “aspecific factor” of psychotherapy, but as the essential tool for the care of other. Furthermore, the core role of intersubjectivity in scientific knowledge implies a radical revision of the criteria of research. Consistently with the intent of a science of experience, it is no more a matter of collecting data, as of accepting meanings. Psychological research has to refound itself in continuity with life and recognize the need for a real involvement and real interaction with the subjects, as far as to reverse the traditional relation between clinic and research. It is nonsense to conceive clinic as an applicative sector of a pure science because clinic, on the contrary, is the place where one can know, in first-person, those meaningful realities which take shape in the intersubjective exchange of ideas, in order to make them comprehensible and controllable. Relevance: The publication explores the dimension of intersubjectivity in phenomenology (starting from Husserl) and personal construct theory, and its relevance in psychotherapy and research.
Bednarz N. & Proulx J. (2011) Ernst von Glasersfeld’s Contribution and Legacy to a Didactique des Mathématiques Research Community. Constructivist Foundations 6(2): 239–247. https://constructivist.info/6/2/239
Context: During the 1980s, Ernst von Glasersfeld’s reflections nourished various studies conducted by a community of mathematics education researchers at CIRADE, Quebec, Canada. Problem: What are his influence on and contributions to the center’s rich climate of development? We discuss the fecundity of von Glasersfeld’s ideas for the CIRADE researchers’ community, specifically in didactique des mathématiques. Furthermore, we take a prospective view and address some challenges that new, post-CIRADE mathematics education researchers are confronted with that are related to interpretations of and reactions to constructivism by the surrounding community. Results: Von Glasersfeld’s contribution still continues today, with a new generation of researchers in mathematics education that have inherited views and ideas related to constructivism. For the post-CIRADE research community, the concepts and epistemology that von Glasersfeld put forward still need to be developed further, in particular concepts such as subjectivity, viability, the circular interpretative effect, representations, the nature of knowing, errors, and reality. Implications: Radical constructivism’s offspring resides within the concepts and epistemology put forth, and that continue to be put forth, through a large number of new and different generations of theories, thereby perpetuating von Glasersfeld’s legacy.
Radical constructivism accentuates the subjectivity of constructions of reality and thus refutes the possibility of insights gamed by independent observers. In the context, constructivistic didactics hold out the prospect of a modelling of subject-oriented worlds of learning in the course of a corresponding averting of linear-causal models. The author examines constructivistically oriented didactic concepts as a result of pedagogical strategies of gratification with the help of which radical queries can be smoothed out and fitted into current debates on reform.
Bilalov M. (2016) Радикальный конструктивизм в контексте современны� субъект-объектны� отношений [Radical constructivism in the context of modern subject-object relations]. Scientific Thought Caucasus 85(1): 15–20. https://cepa.info/8068
The article considers peculiarities of modern subject-object relation son the basis of radical constructivism and their key question – the problem of verity. It reveals that the vector of a new definition of subjectivity through epistemology of radical constructivism is risky for false subject-object relations picture, due to the loss of differences between real and virtual reality, limitation of postmodern tendencies to stop the gap between the reality and the world of simulacris. Ourvisionofpeculiaritiesofsubjectivenatureofcognitionandaman’ssubjectivityfromthepointofviewof subjective and objective dialectics in the verity as well as their criteria, suggests the reasoning of introducing the term “criteria of mistaking” into epistemology. As we see the problem, radical constructivism uses just on criteria of versions of mistaking, though it rejects the problem of grounds of cognition. Moreover, it is clear that radical constructivism stands for general line of modern social epistemologies, it revealed the vector of postmodernist culture as a tendency for cognition to alter into pure game with its constant and changing simulacris – rules, ideas, signs, reflecting the reality in a distorted way, without any connection with it, and even hiding the reality, sometimes.…
Context: We are presently witnessing a revival of introspective methods, which implicitly challenges an impressive list of in-principle objections that were addressed to introspection by various philosophers and by behaviorists. Problem: How can one overcome those objections and provide introspection with a secure basis? Results: A renewed definition of introspection as “enlargement of the field of attention and contact with re-enacted experience,” rather than “looking-within,” is formulated. This entails (i) an alternative status of introspective phenomena, which are no longer taken as revelations of some an sich slice of experience, but as full-fledged experiences; and (ii) an alternative view of the validity of first-person reports as “performative coherence” rather than correspondence. A preliminary empirical study of the self-assessed reliability of introspective data using the elicitation interview method is then carried out. It turns out that subjects make use of reproducible processual criteria in order to probe into the authenticity and completeness of their own introspective reports. Implications: Introspective inquiry is likely to have enough resources to “take care of itself.” Constructivist content: It is argued that the failure of the introspectionist wave of the turn of the 19th/20th centuries is mostly due to its unconditional acceptance of the representationalist theory of knowledge, and that alternative non-representationalist criteria of validity give new credibility to introspective knowledge.
Bitbol M. & Petitmengin C. (2017) Neurophenomenology and the micro-phenomenological interview. In: Schneider S. & Velmans M. (eds.) The Blackwell companion to consciousness. Second edition. Wiley & Sons, Hoboken NJ: 726–739. https://cepa.info/4120
Summary: In its most radical version, Neurophenomenology asks researchers to suspend the quest of an objective solution to the problem of the origin of subjectivity, and clarify instead how objectification can be obtained out of the coordination of subjective experiences. It therefore invites researchers to develop their inquiry about subjective experience with the same determination as their objective inquiry. However, accessing lived experience raises the question of the investigation method, and of the reliability of its results. Here, we present an accurate method of exploration of lived experience: the elicitation (or microphenomenological) interview. In the course of this interview, one first triggers a form of “phenomenological reduction,” then assists the subject in retrieving or “evoking” past experiences, and finally helps the subject to perform acts of attention about this evoked experience, to describe it faithfully. It is shown that this method addresses a set of traditional objections against introspection Relevance: Elicitation interview, first-person, introspection, lived experience, microdynamics, micro-phenomenological interview, neurophenomenology, pre-reflective experience.
Brinck I., Reddy V. & Zahavi D. (2017) The primacy of the “we”? In: Durt C., Fuchs T. & Tewes C. (eds.) Embodiment, enaction, and culture: Investigating the constitution of the shared world. MIT Press, Cambridge MA: 131–147. https://cepa.info/5976
Excerpt: The capacity to engage in collective intentionality is a key aspect of human sociality. Social coordination might not be distinctive of humans – various nonhuman animals engage in forms of cooperative behavior (e.g., hunting together) – but humans seem to possess a specific capacity for intentionality that enables them to constitute forms of social reality far exceeding anything that can be achieved even by nonhuman primates. During the past few decades, collective intentionality has been discussed under various labels in a number of empirical disciplines including social, cognitive, and developmental psychology, economics, sociology, political science, anthropology, ethology, and the social neurosciences. Despite all this work, however, many foundational issues remain controversial and unresolved. In particular, it is by no means clear exactly how to characterize the nature, structure, and diversity of the we to which intentions, beliefs, emotions, and actions are often attributed. Is the we or we-perspective independent of, and perhaps even prior to, individual subjectivity, or is it a developmental achievement that has a firstand second-person-singular perspective as its necessary precondition? Is it something that should be ascribed to a single owner, or does it perhaps have plural ownership? Is the we a single thing, or is there a plurality of types of we?
Buhrmann T. & Di Paolo E. (2015) The sense of agency: A phenomenological consequence of enacting sensorimotor schemes. Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 16(2): 207–236. https://cepa.info/7313
The sensorimotor approach to perception addresses various aspects of perceptual experience, but not the subjectivity of intentional action. Conversely, the problem that current accounts of the sense of agency deal with is primarily one of subjectivity. But the proposed models, based on internal signal comparisons, arguably fail to make the transition from subpersonal computations to personal experience. In this paper we suggest an alternative direction towards explaining the sense of agency by braiding three theoretical strands: a world-involving, dynamical interpretation of the sensorimotor approach, an enactive description of sensorimotor agency as contrasted with organic agency in general, and a dynamical theory of equilibration within and between sensorimotor schemes. On this new account, the sense of oneself as the author of one’s own actions corresponds to what we experience during the ongoing adventure of establishing, losing, and re-establishing meaningful interactions with the world. The meaningful relation between agent and world is given by the precarious constitution of sensorimotor agency as a self-asserting network of schemes and dispositions. Acts are owned as they adaptively assert the constitution of the agent. Thus, awareness for different aspects of agency experience, such as the initiation of action, the effort exerted in controlling it, or the achievement of the desired effect, can be accounted for by processes involved in maintaining the sensorimotor organization that enables these interactions with the world. We discuss these processes in detail from a non-representational, dynamical perspective and show how they cohere with the personal experience of agency.
In their article on ethics, Raskin and Debany (this issue) raise a number of important issues that merit discussion and have implications for a constructivist stance on ethics, an issue that has dogged constructivist and social constructionist theory and has, in the past, been the focus of a good deal of debate. In my response to their article, I focus on two issues before going on to consider what these imply for a constructivist ethics. The first is the status of “reality”; drawing on the work of French philosophers, discursive psychology, and symbolic interactionism, I argue that the constructivist conception of reality has been widely misunderstood and will outline what I regard as a defensible construction of reality. The second issue concerns the relationship between the individual and the social world; drawing again on earlier work in microsociology, I argue that the “constructed” individual must be understood as emerging from the social realm rather than preexisting it, and I argue for personal construct psychology as a candidate for filling the subjectivity “gap” in social constructionism. Finally, I use these conceptualizations of reality and the person to argue for an ethical stance of “radical doubt” for constructivism.
Campbell S. R. (2002) Constructivism and the limits of reason: Revisiting the Kantian problematic. Studies in Philosophy and Education 21: 421–445.
The main focus of this paper is on ways in which Kantian philosophy can inform proponents and opponents of constructivism alike. Kant was primarily concerned with reconciling natural and moral law. His approach to this general problematic was to limit and separate what we can know about things (phenomena) from things as they are in themselves (noumena), and to identify moral agency with the latter. Revisiting the Kantian problematic helps to address and resolve long standing epistemological concerns regarding constructivism as an educational philosophy in relation to issues of objectivity and subjectivity, the limits of theoretical and practical reason, and the relation between human experience and the world. It also serves to address ethical concerns regarding liberation from limited self-interests and contexts conditioned by localised beliefs and inclinations. In light of revisiting the Kantian problematic, both Glasersfeld’s radical view of constructivism and Jardine’s social critique of constructivism are found wanting. Beyond constructivism, Kant’s distinction between phenomena and noumena and the limits of reason that follow from it are briefly considered in terms of Merleau-Ponty’s novel double- embodied notion of flesh as an ontological primitive – as a matter of being both in, and of, the world – with an aim to more intimate connections between epistemology and ethics.