Publication 5961

Castañon G. (2015) O que é construtivismo? [What is constructivism?]. Cadernos de História e Filosofia da Ciência, Campinas (Série 4) 1(2): 209–242. Fulltext at
‘Constructivism’ is a term adopted by many contemporary philosophical approaches. It appeared with the work of Piaget, and since then it has been appropriated by many approaches with different ontological and epistemological orientations. This article examines some of these major contemporary appropriations on three issues: the problem of realism and the problems of possibility and source of knowledge. Piagetian constructivism, socioconstructivism, logical constructivism, radical constructivism and social constructivism are analyzed. The purpose of this study || is to provide a better definition of the term, maintaining its link to its historical origin, and at the same time to be helpful in clarifying its indiscriminate use. A part of the conceptual confusion surrounding the term is solved with the dissolution of the false polarities between realism and constructivism, and between objectivism and skepticism. The conclusion is that the positions vary between realism and antirealism, and between criticism and relativism. It finds in the problem of the source of knowledge the common denominators of all allegations of constructivism: the rejection of empiricist objectivism and the adoption of the Kantian sense of the construction metaphor. We can positively define constructivism as the epistemological thesis that supports the active role of the subject in creating and modifying his representations of the object of knowledge.

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